In the media

HIA: New housing starts declined in the September quarter
Preliminary figures released by the ABS on the value of residential construction work done showed a decline in the September 2020 quarter to its lowest level since 2014. This data precedes the positive impact of the HomeBuilder program due to the lag between purchasing a house and commencing construction (25 November 2020). More...

'We need time to get all these jobs done": Tradies appeal for HomeBuilder extension amid scramble to start work
With the December 31 deadline approaching, tradies are calling on the Federal Government to extend the HomeBuilder grant (25 November 2020).  More...

Iconic builder Grocon declares insolvency and is set to go into administration
Melbourne's casino, Eureka Tower and the Rialto Towers are among the iconic developments Grocon has delivered in recent decades (19 November 2020).  More...


HIA welcomes big spend budget - housing, infrastructure and training
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government of a significant investment in housing and infrastructure as well as a boost to improving skills and opportunities to allow Victorians to return to work (24 November 2020).  More...

Victoria's plan to reduce emissions and boost economic activity leads nation
The $797 million investment that will form part of the state budget addresses key recommendations aimed at using design to reduce emissions and mitigate against the impacts of climate change while also stimulating economic activity and make homes more comfortable and cheaper to run (23 November 2020).  More...

AIA applauds historic social housing investment
The Victorian Government has announced that the 2020-21 Victorian Budget will deliver a historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new homes throughout metro and regional Victoria, as well as supporting around 10,000 jobs, per year over the next four years (16 November 2020).  More...

New South Wales

New campaign shines light on electrical risks
The new campaign will be delivered with a number of industry partners including unions, energy retailers and CHOICE to educate and encourage NSW homeowners to install switches and to undertake regular checks (24 November 2020).  More...

Sydney Metro West officially underway
Work has officially started on the Sydney Metro West mega project, which will create tens of thousands of jobs and transform Greater Sydney for generations to come (18 November 2020).  More...

HIA: The abolition of stamp duty in New South Wales is a necessary step
Stamp duty is an inefficient tax. It represents a significant additional (though artificial) moving cost that discourages the population moving to a more appropriate home (and location) that best suits their changing needs (17 November 2020).  More...

Perrottet delivers major infrastructure stimulus boost and landmark reform agenda in state budget
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia congratulates the New South Wales Government for delivering a major infrastructure stimulus funding boost and landmark reform agenda in the 2020-21 State Budget (17 November 2020).  More...

Support for owners to remove high risk cladding
The New South Wales government will establish Project Remediate, a three-year program to help remove combustible cladding on hundreds of the most at-risk buildings, and pay the interest on loans by commercial lenders to building owners and owners corporations, fast-tracking the removal of unsafe cladding (17 November 2020).  More...


Construction of new facilities at The Spit set to start soon
Planning and design works are underway for a new pontoon and jetty at The Spit as part of the Palaszczuk Government's multi-million-dollar strategy to improve the promote the Gold Coast icon in the future (26 November 2020).  More...

Industry forced to close its books to new home buyers as HomeBuilder deadline looms large
With the 31 December 2020 deadline just over five weeks away, many builders are already making the tough decision to close off their books to new contracts, amid fears they can't guarantee they'll be able to start work within the required three months from the signing date (24 November 2020).  More...

Walker Corporation set to accelerate Australia's largest greenfield CBD project
Maroochydore City Centre's shovel ready CBD redevelopment is set for acceleration under a new agreement by Walker Corporation with Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd (established to oversee the development) will see Walker Corporation invest $2.5 billion into the project (23 November 2020).  More...

Practice and courts

Adoption of NCC 2022 to be delayed
The delayed adoption will also see adjustments to key dates in the amendment cycle process for NCC 2022 to allow stakeholders time to participate. These adjusted dates include:
May - July 2021: NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft released for public consultation
May 2022: NCC 2022 Preview published here.
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

2020 National Housing Research Program commences
Research is underway for the suite of projects funded by AHURI as part of the 2020 National Housing Research Program (NHRP). The research will be undertaken by collaborative teams from AHURI's eight national university research partners. For more details of the 2020 NHRP projects here.  More...


VBA:  New power to immediately suspend plumbers' licences or registrations
New legislation coming into force on 1 December 2020 will give the VBA the power to immediately suspend the licence or registration of a plumber if it is in the public's interest to do so. (20 November 2020) More...

New South Wales

Engineers Australia
Now is your opportunity to provide feedback on new laws requiring statutory registration for professional engineers, plus a range of reforms to the process of designing and constructing buildings.
Engineers Australia have compiled information  compiled information on  what's happened so far and a policy paper.  


Changes to payment laws - updated November 2020
The?Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (BIFOLA) Introduces some important changes to these payment laws to increase payment protections for contractors. Provisions due to commence in 2021 are now outlined here

Safer Buildings program enters final stage
The QBCC is administering the three-part Safer Buildings program to understand the extent of combustible cladding use in Queensland's private buildings. The Safer Buildings program has advanced considerably with Part 3 of the combustible cladding checklist now underway. The deadline for building owners to finalise the Part 3 assessment is 3 May 2021. For more information visit here



VCON v Oliver Hume & Anor [2020] VSC 767
BUILDING CONTRACTS - Trial - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) - Adjudication conducted under Part 3 Division 2 of the Act - Whether properly characterised, the payment claim is for contractual entitlements or is an attempt to recoup liquidated damages - Whether First Adjudication Determination created an issue estoppel that precluded the first defendant from relying on the earlier deductions of liquidated damages - Whether drawing down of two bank guarantees reduced the amount of the progress payment to which the plaintiff was entitled - Whether the first defendant's contractual entitlement to enforce the bank guarantees operated to exclude, modify or restrict the operation of the Act in a manner prohibited by s 48 of the Act - Whether the claim is for an excluded amount - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) ss 10, 10B, 14(3), 15(2), 21, 23, 47 and 48 - Seabay Properties Pty Ltd v Galvin Constructions Pty Ltd [2011] VSC 183, applied - Shape Australia Pty Ltd v Nuance Group (Aust) Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 808, applied - Dualcorp Pty Ltd v Remo Constructions Pty Ltd [2009] NSWCA 69; (2009) 74 NSWLR 190, applied - Blair & Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd v Curran [1939] HCA 23; (1939) 62 CLR 464, applied - Fabtech v Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 1371, applied.

New South Wales

Duzenli Developments Pty Ltd ACN 623 852 031 trading as Zen Group Constructions v Benuga Pty Ltd ACN 001 131 997 [2020] NSWSC 1667
EQUITY - Equitable remedies - Injunctions - serious question to be tried - balance of convenience - plaintiff builder executes building work under a building contract with the defendant upon land owned by the defendant - plaintiff's building work does not reach practical completion - disputes break out about allegedly defective work and the rate of completion of the work - defendant purports to terminate the contract and to exclude the builder from the site - the plaintiff commences proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) seeking remedies under the Home Building Act 1989 - NCAT gives directions, allowing both parties access to the site with their experts to prepare for a hearing before NCAT - the defendant seeks possession of the site on the basis that the plaintiff's license to be on the site has been terminated - whether the defendant should be let into possession - whether the parties should both be excluded from the site pending resolution of the NCAT proceedings.

Hewatt Pty Ltd v Orange City Council [2020] NSWSC 1662
CIVIL PROCEDURE - separate question - whether there should be a separate determination of the merits of the plaintiff's claim under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - whether by reason of s 16(4) of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act the defendant would not be able to bring a cross claim against the plaintiff

CPB Contractors Pty Limited v Heyday5 Pty Limited [2020] NSWSC 1625
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION - Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) ss 22(2), (3), (5) - An adjudication determination upheld a claim for a variation of a building contract consisting of a direction by a head contractor to a sub-contractor to provide spotters for mobile elevated work platforms - Challenge to the determination on the grounds that it discloses no evident or intelligible justification for upholding the claim and that the adjudicator denied the plaintiffs procedural fairness because he found them on bases not the subject of submission duly made - HELD - Challenges not made out - Importance of recognising that adjudicators' determinations are not judgments of a court, that the procedural behaviour of adjudicators and determinations should not be examined with an overcritical or pedantic eye but should be viewed with common sense and without undue legality and should not be scrutinised with a fine-tooth comb approach.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.