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Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

19 May 2020

#Construction & Infrastructure

Inside track: Construction & Infrastructure

In the media

RICS: Unlocking infrastructure spending during COVID-19 recovery
Despite a maturing infrastructure investment market, private capital sufficient to support $1trn of infrastructure development is currently going unspent, according to a report commissioned by RICS’ World Built Environment Forum: Bridging the gap: Private investment in future infrastructure provision (13 May 2020).  More...

One-third of Australia’s construction businesses could close
As many as one-third of Australia’s construction businesses could be forced to close over the next twelve months if business conditions do not improve, according to the he latest first findings of How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 report (11 May 2020). More...

Green steel flagged as end to climate wars
In a new report the think-tank says focusing on “green” steel production could create a multi-billion dollar export sector using renewable energy. It could also save the jobs of coal miners and others reliant on emissions intensive industries, whose work is threatened by efforts to fight climate change, the Grattan Institute says  (11 May 2020).  More...

MBA: Builders commend Federal Government on procurement and payment time changes
Master Builders Australia commends the Federal Government’s move to support business through the economic shock of COVID-19 by amending its procurement and contracting arrangements. This positive initiative that will bolster confidence among building and construction businesses working on federally funded construction projects (11 May 2020). More...

COVID-19 highlights importance of responsibly managed supply chains
The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the human face of supply chains and how it important it is to consider individuals which are more vulnerable and exposed to exploitation, particularly, as economic conditions become more challenging (07 May 2020). More...

RICS: How has COVID-19 impacted construction and infrastructure globally
Construction activity has been hit hard by the impact of COVID-19, according  to the latest International Construction and Infrastructure Surveys. Impact varies depending on severity, timing of the pandemic and government measures - and costs are rising faster than tender prices - suggesting further financial pressures ahead (07 May 2020.   More...

New South Wales

World-class Western Sydney hospital building finished early
Western Sydney will soon have more world-class health services right on their doorstep, with construction now complete on the Westmead Health Precinct’s new Central Acute Services Building.  The New South Wales Government has also committed an additional $619 million for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Stage 2 (14 May 2020).  More...

Resources Regulator publishes COVID-19 inspection report
The New South Wales Resources Regulator has published the results from its proactive inspection program which focussed on how mine operators were responding to the COVID-19 (13 May 2020).  More...


$185 million of roadworks start sooner
Investment in key inland freight corridors is poised to boost road construction jobs for regional Queensland communities, under an agreement reached between the Australian and Queensland Governments on 22 jointly-funded regional roads projects worth $185 million (14 May 2020).  More...

Trialling renewable methane in Australia’s gas pipelines
On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced $1.1 million in funding to APA Group  to build a modular renewable methane production demonstration plant at their Wallumbilla Gas hub near Roma in Queensland (08 May 2020).  More...


Delivering projects and creating jobs in regional Victoria
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes has announced 35 projects in rural and regional communities that will share in more than $16 million from the Regional Infrastructure Fund to improve liveability and attract more residents and visitors to towns (13 May 2020).  More...

VBA recommends building practitioners inform owners of their statutory obligations
Almost one in three complaints about protection work received by the Victorian Building Authority since mid-2018 relate to the responsibilities of building owners (12 May 2020). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports 

ABCC: Industry update – 14 May 2020 edition
With billions of dollars of infrastructure projects underway, the May edition of Industry Update steps you through the Building Code and provides valuable advice to contractors considering tendering for Commonwealth-funded building work. More...

Auditor-General of Queensland: Report 14: 2019-20 — Evaluating major infrastructure projects


New South Wales

Ippolito v Cesco [2020] NSWSC 561
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – Breach of statutory warranties in the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW), s 18B – Application s 48MA of the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) to proceedings brought before the Supreme Court – Whether the Court will order specific performance of a building contract - Whether damages for loss of rent were in the parties’ reasonable contemplation at the time the contract was entered into – Distinction between difficulty of assessing damages and failure to take reasonable steps to prove damages suffered.

Lawrence v Ciantar [2020] NSWCA 89
CONTRACTS – Construction – Interpretation – Principles of construction of commercial contracts.   CONTRACTS – Breach of contract – Consequences of breach – Right to termination – No specific performance.   STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) – Definition of “residential building work” – Preliminary works. Home Building Act 1989 (NSW)

TFM Epping Land Pty Ltd v Decon Australia Pty Ltd [2020] NSWCA 93
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – claim for progress payment – reference date – whether claim with respect to an available reference date – inclusion of three days’ interest accruing after reference date – whether claim invalid – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), ss 13(7) and (8)   BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – claim for progress payment – service of claim – supporting statement – requirements for valid supporting statement – consequence of failure to serve valid statement – whether payment claim invalid   BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION – claim for progress payment – variations – whether sums claimed under the contract or for quantum meruit – whether the claim invalid if amounts not owing under the contract – statutory scheme for adjudication of payment claim disputes – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), ss 14 and 15(4)   STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – penalty provision – implied civil consequences – whether intention to invalidate step creating civil obligation – breach of requirement to serve compliant supporting statement – whether claim invalid – Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW), ss 13(7) and (8)


Pelligra Build Pty Ltd v Australian Crane & Machinery Pty Ltd [2020] VCC 545
Claim under Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 
Claim for recovery of outstanding balance of payment claims allegedly served pursuant to s14 of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 – no payment schedule or schedules provided in accordance with s15 of that Act – whether invoices valid – payment claims when served by email in violation of terms of contract – receipt of emails by respondent proprietor admitted – claims duly served – whether provisions as to progress payments in printed contract form or those appearing in attached typed schedule established relevant reference dates for the purposes of s9 of the Act – typed schedule overrides reference in schedule to various stages or milestones to be taken as reference to date of completion of those stages – proprietor precluded by s16(4) of the Act from relying on contentions that stages were incomplete – proprietor entitled to rely on defence of payment based on allocation of payments made to earliest liability – judgment otherwise for the plaintiff with interest at the rate fixed under s2 of the Penalty Interest Rates Act 1983.
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002; Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000; Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984; Penalty Interest Rates Act 1983.

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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