Milestones - June 2013

Projects, Construction & Infrastructure eNewsletter - 4 June 2013

Welcome to Issue 2 of Milestones, a publication by Lander & Rogers' Projects, Construction & Infrastructure team, which provides commentary on topical legal issues and developments affecting your business and the construction, infrastructure and projects industry in Australia.

pdf Download a PDF of Milestones - June 2013 (1 MB)




In this edition...

Recent High Court decision changes application of the "penalty" doctrine


The recent High Court of Australia decision in Andrews v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd has ramifications well beyond the banking industry.

It will have far reaching consequences in all contracts in which a fee or other penalty is imposed, regardless of whether the penalty is tied to a breach of contract or arises in another context, such as termination of a contract.



The industrial cost of construction


The last 12 months have seen a significant increase in the number and scale of industrial disputes across the country. Many of these disputes have occurred in the construction and infrastructure industries and have caused significant disruption both to construction companies and the broader community.

A number of cases which arose out of these disputes have resulted in changes to the law regarding the manner in which companies can lawfully respond to the conduct of their employees during industrial disputes. In particular, the extent to which a company can lawfully discipline a union member or delegate has been the subject of a number of cases.

In this article we review the latest developments in relation to disciplining employees during industrial disputes and provide guidance for employers on how to deal with this complex issue.



Report recommends radical reform to contract payments


An independent Inquiry into the surging number of insolvencies in the construction industry in NSW has made 44 recommendations in its Final Report which would overhaul the current contract payment practices used across the sector.

A key recommendation of the Inquiry is that a statutory construction trust be used in building projects which have a value of over $1 million. Essentially, it recommends a construction trust be created when a principal makes payment to a head contractor.

In this article, we briefly discuss the Inquiry look at how construction trusts would work in practice.

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.