Major projects & construction 5 Minute Fix 19

By Major Projects & Construction team

13 Sep 2018

Get your 5 Minute Fix of major projects and construction news. This issue: three months to get ready for Queensland's new BCIPA regime; architects and engineers caught by Queensland's "chain of responsibility" laws for non-conforming building products; new digital strategy for infrastructure projects in Victoria; WA embraces a collaborative contracting model for METRONET.

New Queensland BCIPA regime is ready for its December 2018 start – are you?

Earlier this year, the Queensland Government announced that the new BCIPA found in Chapter 3 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 would be introduced only after it had consulted with industry and made some amendments to the Act. Last week those amendments were passed, meaning the way is now clear for Chapter 3 to commence. The Government has said that should happen in December this year.

In the end, the amendments made to Chapter 3 were few. The most important was that the time for responding to a payment claim was changed to be the earlier of the time the contract says a payment schedule must be given or 15 Business Days (rather than 25 Business Days) after receipt of a payment claim.

The new BCIPA regime will apply to payment claims made after its commencement, meaning that existing construction contracts will become subject to that regime. Many of the provisions from the existing BCIPA regime carry over, but there are important changes made to payment claims, payment schedules and the adjudication process which are aimed at reducing delays by respondents and streamlining the adjudication process.

Read the full Alert here.

Architects and engineers to be included in Queensland non-conforming building products regime

The Queensland Parliament has passed amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) which extend the chain of responsibility for the use of non-conforming building products in Queensland projects to architects and engineers.

In short, the duties that previously applied to persons broadly described as suppliers and installers of building products will now apply to architects and engineers who, in designing a building, specify that a product is to be associated with the building. Such architects and engineers will be included in the "chain of responsibility" and must, amongst other requirements, ensure that a product is not a non-conforming building product for an intended use.

The date for the commencement of these amendments has not been set. However, engineers and architects will now need to familiarise themselves with the chain of responsibility regime and consider what steps they will need to take to ensure that they discharge their duties under the legislation, once these latest round of reforms take effect.

Read the in-depth Insights Article here.

Victorian Government's new digital strategy for infrastructure projects

In 2019, the Victorian Government will roll out a Victorian Digital Asset Strategy (VDAS) to support the State's ambitious agenda of infrastructure delivery. The objective of the new digital strategy is to improve the way in which infrastructure projects are defined, delivered and maintained.

The VDAS is an example of technology being embraced in the construction industry and the possibilities for Building Information Modelling adoption in Australia – topics we explored earlier this year.

The VDAS will realise this vision through Building Information Modelling, Digital Engineering, and integration of the many sources of information about Victorian assets, including:

  • computer-aided designs (CAD), 3D visuals and 4D models;
  • project schedules and construction sequencing; and
  • cost, operations and maintenance performance.

The Office of Projects Victoria is developing the VDAS and will roll it out across all relevant government agencies. Established in 2016, the OPV is led by Victoria's first Chief Engineer Dr Collette Burke and plays a key role in overseeing the delivery of major infrastructure projects in Victoria.

While the VDAS will be of interest to companies working with the Victoria Government to deliver projects, in the event the Victorian Government made the data, lessons and technologies of the VDAS publically available it may present an opportunity to principals and contractors alike.

Read the Victorian Government's media release here.

Status update: Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill 2018 (Vic)

In Major Projects & Construction 5 Minute Fix 17, we noted that the Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill 2018 (VIC) has been released to the public and received its second reading. On 23 August 2018 it passed the Victorian Legislative Assembly, and is currently before the Victorian Legislative Council, which will next sit on 18 September 2018. The Bill includes measures to prevent wall cladding-fuelled fires and swimming pool tragedies.

METRONET continues an Australia-wide shift towards collaborative contracting

Across Australia, State Governments are shifting to more collaborative forms of contracting as the volume of infrastructure construction reaches record peaks. Particularly suitable for complex, high risk projects that are difficult to price and scope with certainty, Governments are embracing models such as alliancing, incentivised target cost, managing contractor and a range of hybrid models.

The NSW Government has flagged its desire to work more collaboratively and in partnership with contractors in its recently released ten point Action Plan. As a live example of the NSW Government's approach, Roads and Maritime Services has adopted a Collaborative Contractor Client procurement model for the Rozelle Interchange portion of WestConnex.

Victoria has followed suit in pursuing collaborative forms, awarding major alliance contracts for the rail systems aspect of Melbourne Metro, as has Queensland in tendering for Cross River Rail. Most recently, the Western Australian Government has called for proposals for two major METRONET projects by means of a bundled competitive alliance model – read the full Media Release here.

Related Insights

Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.