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Announcements & Legal Updates

David Chandler Appointed as NSW's first building commissioner

Home owners can only hope that better protection will be afforded to them at the appointment of Mr David Chandler as part of the government’s commitment to implementing the biggest overhaul to building law in the State’s history.

The government of New South Wales has announced the appointment of building and construction expert, Mr Chandler. This appointment is the State’s first building commissioner. He will commence his role on 14 August 2019.

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Building Defects in High Rise Strata Schemes

As a consequence of the Grenfell fire in London, the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne and the recent Neo 200 Complex fire in Melbourne, the State Government has implemented reforms to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations 2000 to reduce the risk of flammable cladding in New South Wales.

One of the changes was the introduction of the combustible cladding register (Cladding Register)

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Combustible Cladding

As a consequence of the Grenfell fire in London, the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne and the recent Neo 200 Complex fire in Melbourne, the State Government has implemented reforms to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations 2000 to reduce the risk of flammable cladding in New South Wales.

One of the changes was the introduction of the combustible cladding register (Cladding Register)

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Australia needs 'decennial' Building Insurance

Taking out a "decennial" building insurance where defects are fixed by all contractors at a building regardless of fault, could be the solution that protects Australian owners of apartments and units, construction experts say.

In many countries including France, Belgium and Qatar, the"constructors" of a building – a reference to architects, builders, orany persons bound to a building by a contract of work – are liable forthe health of a building for up to 10 years and are obliged take out insurance to cover thisbefore construction starts, according to construction lawyer Jessica Rippon of Construction Legal.

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More changes to the Security of Payment Laws to commence in 2019

Recent changes to one of the most central pieces of legislation in the building and construction industry, the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (‘Act’) take effect in 2019 and will introduce several measures designed to give better protection for subcontractors. Principals and contractors need to familiarise themselves with these changes, update their contracts to reflect requirements of the Act and review internal processes to avoid breaches non-compliance.

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Building Products (Safety) Act

The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW) (‘the Act’) was passed by the NSW Parliament and assented to on 30 November 2017 by the Governor. The Act comes after the tragic events of the Lacrosse fire in Victoria and the Grenfell Tower fire in London which led to combined total of 71 fatalities. The Act primarily focuses on identifying safety risks and enforcing checks and balances to prevent the use of unsafe building products

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Calderbank Offers: The Basics

A Calderbank offer is an offer of settlement made in a “without prejudice” communication, which can have its confidential nature waived in an application for indemnity costs (Calderbank v Calderbank [1975] 3 All ER 333). Making a “without prejudice” settlement offer before commencing litigation is a useful way to resolve disputes without recourse to litigation and is useful for reducing costs.

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Is Service by USB Acceptable Service?

The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (‘the Act’) prescribes strict provisions relating to the service of documents. While there may be more convenient ways of serving documents than through hard copies, Parkview Constructions Pty Ltd v Total Lifestyle Windows Pty Ltd t/as Total Concept Group [2017] NSWSC 194 reminds us of the necessity of strict compliance with the Act.

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