The Critical Path – Melbourne C&I newsletter July 2021

29 July 2021

Welcome to The Critical Path, HWLE’s Melbourne Construction & Infrastructure newsletter featuring all the latest developments in construction law, to help you stay on the critical path!

We hope you enjoy this first issue of The Critical Path and that it finds some use in your endeavours.

Combustible cladding: Melbourne apartment residents ordered to evacuate building – steep fines for non-compliance

On 12 February 2021 a City of Melbourne Municipal building surveyor ordered all residents of a Melbourne apartment building, completed in 2019, to evacuate within 30 days, on the basis of combustible cladding safety concerns.

Section 106 of the Building Act 1993 (Building Act) allows a municipal building surveyor or a private building surveyor to inspect buildings and issue owners with a building notice for safety concerns. A building order may be subsequently issued requiring appropriate actions, including the evacuation of a building or carrying out of protection works. Failure to comply with a building order can attract significant penalties of up to $454,350 for corporations and $90,870 for natural persons.

Building notices and building orders may be appealed to the Building Appeals Board within 30 days of receipt.

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers has expertise in advising on matters regarding building notices and building orders. Please contact Paul Graham of our Construction and Infrastructure team to discuss any aspect of the above.

Click here to read the full article.

Can parties contract out of limitation periods in the Limitation Acts?

The High Court has unanimously held that parties may waive or “contract out” of statutory limitation periods like the 6-year timeframe for actions in contract or tort in the Limitation of Actions Act 1958. What was previously thought to be a possibility, based on an obiter passage of Mason CJ in The Commonwealth v Verwayen (1990) 170 CLR 394, is now a certainty following the High Court’s decision in Price v Spoor [2021] HCA 20.

The decision is unlikely to impact the separate 10-year limitation period for building actions in States and Territories other than Queensland and Western Australia. For actions that do not constitute building actions in those jurisdictions, the decision is significant.

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers has expertise in drafting and interpreting liability carve outs and limitation of liability clauses. Please contact Paul Graham of our Construction and Infrastructure team with any enquiries.

Click here to read the full article.

This newsletter was written by Paul Graham, Partner, Brian Rom, Special Counsel, Julie Charles, Senior Associate and Kai-Yang Goh, Solicitor.

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