Building and Infrastructure (27)

Following a new emphasis placed on alternative dispute resolution by the Building Code 2016 introduced in December last year, as raised by HWL Ebsworth in a recent alert, the Queensland Supreme Court1 has also further recognised the importance and enforceability of alternative dispute resolution clauses in a recent case, as discussed by Michael Hollingdale and Ross Williams.

As a consequence of the new Building Code 2016 coming into effect late last year1, there is now a live question as to whether many standard form contracts used in connection with Commonwealth funded construction projects require amending to include conclusive documented dispute resolution processes.

All building and construction industry employers must ensure their Enterprise Agreements (EAs) are compliant with the new Building Code 2016 or risk being immediately disqualified from Commonwealth funded building work. 

This Code came into force on 1 January 2017. It has been developed to ensure that public funds in Western Australia are spent on certain State Building Work using only safe and reputable Building Contractors. The Code promotes fair and efficient practices and productive workplace relations.

In this recent case of Colonial Range Pty Ltd v CES-Queen (Vic) Pty Ltd [2016] VSCA 328, the Victorian Court of Appeal clarified the insurance requirements for protection works under section 93(1) of the Building Act 1993 (Vic).

On 29 November 2016, the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill 2016 received Royal Assent. The Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2016 (the Amendment Act) amends the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (the CCA). The purpose of the Amendment Act is 'to improve the operation of, and access to, the rapid adjudication process for resolving payment disputes under construction contracts'.1

Recent amendments to the Building Code 2013 (Building Code) require urgent action by building and construction contractors undertaking, or tendering for Commonwealth government work.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has determined a key issue for the construction industry - that a claimant in liquidation cannot obtain judgment under the Building and Infrastructure Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (SOPA) for unanswered payment claims and/or unpaid scheduled amounts if a respondent has an 'extinguishing' counterclaim given the operation of section 553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corps Act).

Standards Australia has recently released a new "AS 11000 General Conditions of Contract" in draft form for comment with the intention that it is to replace two existing Standards, the AS 2124:1992 and AS 4000:1997 general conditions of contract.

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