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Projects and Infrastructure
13 Mar 17
The BIM momentum continues - Queensland Government releases its draft policy and principles
The Queensland Government has recognised the importance of Building Information Modelling in the delivery and management of infrastructure assets and is looking to implement the use of BIM on all major state infrastructure projects by 2023.
14 Feb 17
New Critical Infrastructure Centre to boost security of sensitive assets and to support FIRB
The Australian Government has established the new Critical Infrastructure Centre within the Attorney-General’s Department to pre-emptively assess and manage national security risks for critical infrastructure and to streamline engagement with the Foreign Investment Review Board.
11 Nov 16
Unfair terms regime starting soon. Will the new regime apply to government contracts?
The new unfair contract terms regime will take effect on and from 12 November 2016. The new regime extends the current unfair contract terms provisions to small business contracts. Will the new regime apply to contracts with government bodies? In short, the answer is generally no (unless the government body is carrying on a business).
2 Nov 16
Talking the talk - top tips to maximise commercial negotiations
In this article we set out five key tips to conducting a successful negotiation that may not only assist to avoid the need for long and costly court battles, but in some instances, can aid in building successful long-term relationships with other parties.
24 May 16
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016 has been passed and the Board chosen
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016 has now been passed, and its Board has been selected. The NAIF Act will formally commence activities on 1 July, but project financing applications can be submitted now to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.
9 May 16
No right to terminate for insolvency - call for comments
The Federal Government has issued proposals to prohibit certain terminations for insolvency clauses in contracts among other proposed changes to insolvency laws. The deadline for feedback is 27 May 2016.
4 Apr 16
The BIM revolution is coming - Federal Government pushes for all major government infrastructure projects to use BIM
In March 2016, the Federal Government’s Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Parliamentary Committee recommended that all government projects that receive Australian Government funding (and which are over $50 million in value) to use BIM.
29 Mar 16
Statutory declarations as a precondition to payment - are yours void under security of payment legislation?
In the decision of J Hutchinson Pty Ltd v Glavcom Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of New South Wales held that the provision of a statutory declaration as a precondition to payment was void under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW).
18 Mar 16
Major projects in the pipeline - Queensland's new State Infrastructure Plan
Queensland’s long-term State Infrastructure Plan has been released as a state government commitment to significant reforms to the way Queensland plans, prioritises and invests in state infrastructure assets.
7 Mar 16
Get ready to play fair in 2016 - new unfair contract terms regime
Our first Projects seminar of 2016 has provided an overview of the new unfair contract terms regime, which starts on 12 November 2016. The new regime will have an impact on the construction and procurement sector.
17 Feb 16
BIM BAM BOOM - Getting BIM right in Australian Standards contracts
Building Information Modelling is becoming increasingly popular in the Australian construction industry. Although the uptake of BIM in the Australian construction industry has been growing, to date, the contractual integration of BIM in the Australian construction industry has largely been ad-hoc. This paper seeks to address the contractual integration of BIM in Australian Standards contracting.
15 Feb 16
Oral building contracts - illegal but not unenforceable
In Nichols v Earth Spirit Home Pty Ltd, the Queensland Court of Appeal held that a wholly oral contract was enforceable despite being illegal under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) (QBCC Act).
28 Jan 16
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility - draft Bill released for comment
The Federal Government has released a draft Bill for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. The Government is inviting public feedback on the draft Bill. The deadline for feedback is 4 February 2016.
27 Jan 16
Get ready to play fair in 2016 - new unfair contract terms regime starts!
The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Act 2015 (Cth) has extended the existing unfair term protections to small businesses
20 Nov 15
Contractors beware: be licensed or face no rights under BCIPA
The Queensland Supreme Court held that an adjudication decision in favour of a contractor under the BCIPA legislation was void because the relevant contract was illegal and unenforceable under other legislation.
18 Nov 15
Payment claims under BCIPA do not contain representations as to the truth
The decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court in The New South Wales Netball Association Ltd v Probuild Construction (Aust) demonstrates that a payment claim under BCIPA legislation is not a representation, but merely a statement of what is claimed.
12 Nov 15
Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility consultation paper released for comments
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) consultation paper has been released for comments. You have until 30 November 2015 to give your feedback.
24 Sep 15
1 October commencement confirmed - short term hires of serial numbered goods no longer security interests
From 1 October 2015, new leases or bailments of serial numbered goods will generally only require registration if longer than one year (previously 90 days).
6 Aug 15
'Our North' white paper
The Commonwealth Government has released the Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, building on the Green Paper released twelve months ago. The White Paper outlines an action plan for the development of northern Australia – defined as all of the Northern Territory and areas of Western Australia and Queensland above the Tropic of Capricorn.
3 Aug 15
Market-led proposals - Queensland Government guidelines
The Queensland Government has released its guidelines on how it will deal with, consider, and assess unsolicited or market-led proposals. Partner Ren Niemann and Senior Associate Ben Yeoh report on the key features of the guidelines, and how they differ from NSW and Victoria.
2 Jul 15
Short term leases of serial numbered goods no longer deemed security interests under the PPSA
The Personal Property Securities Amendment (Deregulatory Measures) Act received assent on 25 June 2015. This act amends the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 to remove the provision that deemed the lease or bailment of serial numbered goods (such as motor vehicles) for more than 90 days to be a security interest.
26 Jun 15
Proposal for Chinese workers to work on large infrastructure
On the same day as entering the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, China and Australia reached agreement on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signalling the establishment of an infrastructure facilitation agreement (IFA) framework designed to allow Chinese workers to work in Australia on infrastructure projects worth over AUD$150 million.
22 Jun 15
Building Queensland is coming - Queensland's new infrastructure advisory body
The Queensland Government recently introduced the Building Queensland Bill 2015 (Bill), which proposes to establish Building Queensland (BQ), a new statutory advisory body designed to provide independent expert advice to Queensland Government agencies on infrastructure projects
8 May 15
Liquidated damages clause survives Supreme Court challenge
The Supreme Court of Queensland has upheld the right of a principal to recover liquidated damages for late completion. The contractor in Grocon v Juniper had argued that the liquidated damages clause was a penalty and therefore unenforceable.
27 Mar 15
New South Wales Asset Privatisation: Electricity Transmission and Distribution Networks
In this instalment of our asset privatisation bulletin, we preview the opportunities from NSW’s plans to privatise its electricity and transmission and distribution assets: TransGrid, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy.
11 Mar 15
Reasonable endeavours and good faith obligations in MOUs - are they worth the paper they're written on?
The decision of Baldwin & Anor v Icon Energy Ltd & Anor  QSC 12 highlights the uncertain effect of clauses in pre-contractual documents (such as MOUs) requiring the parties to negotiate full form agreements in good faith or using reasonable endeavours.
24 Feb 15
'Significant utility' - the new benchmark under BCIPA for compliant payment conditions?
In Lean Field Developments, the Queensland Supreme Court recently revisited the basis upon which the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA) would invalidate conditions to a contractor’s entitlement to progressive payment. Special Counsel Tony Roccisano and Partner Ren Niemann review this decision and its arguments.
5 Feb 15
Call for submissions on AS 11000: General Conditions of Contract
Standards Australia has called for submissions on its draft AS 11000: General Conditions of Contract, with implications for contracts used by governments and businesses in construction and public works projects.
11 Dec 14
The State Government's retention trust scheme set to protect subcontractors in New South Wales
On 8 December 2014, the NSW Minister for Fair Trading released a draft retention trust scheme, the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment (Retention Money Trust Account) Regulation 2014. This regulation is set to commence on 1 February 2015 and will be available for public comment until 8 January 2015.
10 Oct 14
High Court rules out duties of care owed by builders to subsequent purchasers and owners' corporations
The High Court has unanimously held that a builder will not owe a duty of care to prevent pure economic loss to an owner, an owners’ corporation or to subsequent purchasers except in extremely limited circumstances.
24 Sep 14
Home owner must mitigate loss
The Supreme Court of NSW recently affirmed that the common law concept of mitigation of loss applies to home owners seeking to enforce statutory warranties under section 18B Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).
20 Mar 14
Reporting of pollution incidents in NSW
In a reminder that not all pollution incidents need to be notified, Bulga Coal Management Pty Limited (Bulga) has successfully defended a charge brought by the EPA that Bulga failed to notify the EPA of a pollution incident at the Bulga Coal Mine as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the incident.
4 Apr 13
House of Representatives passes EPBC Bill: proposed water trigger for large coal mining and coal seam gas projects
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth) passed the House of Representatives on 21 March 2013. If passed by the Senate, the Bill will provide for the protection of water resources from large coal mining developments and coal seam gas developments as a matter of national environmental significance.
24 Jul 12
PPSA for local government
The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) significantly changes the way securities are dealt with and brings with it a number of key risks for local government. It is widely regarded as the most significant change to the law in Australia since the introduction of the GST.
9 Jun 11
ALERT - Strategic Cropping Land: Clarity but still no middle ground
Following on from our previous article discussing the Queensland State Government’s Strategic Cropping Land policy, Tim Hanmore, Special Counsel, speaks with Boardroom Radio to provide some further insight into some of the issues surrounding the current framework.
1 Jun 11
Strategic Cropping Land protection cropped under new mapping and guidelines
The State Government’s release of modified mapping identifying land likely to be afforded two different levels of protection under the amended Strategic Cropping Land framework potentially changes the game plan for both farmers and miners. Environment and agribusiness specialists Diana Lohrisch, Tim Hanmore and Liam Davis explain.
27 May 11
In commercial dealings good faith doesn't mean 'blind faith'
Striking a balance between your commercial interests and your obligations of disclosure - good faith negotiations.