Welcome to the November edition of Projects & Construction Monthly.
This edition addresses:
- Recent updates on Major Projects;
- Case Summary – Kiril Jozulin t/a K & V Plastering v Victoria Gala  QCAT 376;
- LPC Lawyers’ ‘BIFA in Focus’; and
- Opportunities to join the LPC Lawyers’ team.
Recent Updates on Major Projects
Future BNE Projects
The Brisbane Airport Corporation has just released a plan to invest more than $5 billion in Future BNE, a program consisting of 150 projects to transform the airport and cater for Queensland’s growing population. The domestic terminal will undergo construction first, with new additions expected to be completed in 2025.
The Brisbane Airport upgrade is set to be completed in 2032.
Borumba Pumped Hydro Project
The Borumba Pumped Hydro project is a 2,000 MW pumped hydro energy storage system at Lake Borumba, located in Imbil, west of the Sunshine Coast. The total project cost is estimated to cost $14.2 billion and has been declared a coordinated project, meaning the next steps can be taken.
The project is expected to commence works in 2025, and pending successful planning and environmental approvals, the project is targeting first power in 2030.
Inland Rail – Border to Gowrie Project
The Border to Gowrie (B2G) Project is part of the overall Inland Rail Project between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Toowoomba. The B2G project would be located between the New South Wales/Queensland border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north-west of Toowoomba. The B2G Project involves building 145-kilometre new single-track dual gauge freight rail line and 71 kilometres of upgraded railway line.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2026.
Case Summary: Kiril Jozulin t/a K & V Plastering v Victoria Gala  QCAT 376
This case highlights the principles of quantum meruit, which stipulates that if work has been done and the homeowner has benefited from it, it would be unjust for the builder not to be paid a reasonable amount for it.
This case also serves as a reminder when entering domestic building contracts to comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 1B of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) (QBCCA), as a failure to comply can render contracts void.
Victoria Gala (Respondent) engaged Kiril Kozulin (Applicant) to conduct plastering work, no written contract was entered into by the parties. A dispute arose in relation to a claim of $11,749.30 for additional work completed by the Applicant, which was the subject of seven invoices, all dated 30 April 2020.
The Applicant argued it was agreed he would be paid $50/hr for additional works, this was disputed by the Respondent who alleged that she only agreed to pay $50/hr for a deck installation. The Respondent alleged that the Applicant had overestimated hours within the invoices. The Respondent alleged it took no more than 1.5 hours for the installation of a piece of board, but was charged for 4 hours, the Respondent was also charged 78 hours for works that took 25 hours to complete. Various works that were installed by the Applicant were installed incorrectly, and the Respondent incurred additional costs to rectify them.
As there was no written contract entered into, both parties failed to comply with the section 13(2) requirements of the QBCCA, the contract was void and could not be enforced by either party.
As the contract was rendered unenforceable by statute, the circumstances allowed the Applicant to make a claim on the basis of quantum meruit.
Tribunal held that the Respondent did not receive the full benefit of the $11,794.30, due to the quality issues and overestimation of hours and materials by the Applicant. However, the Applicant had incurred costs of materials and labour which were set out in the invoices, in addition to barge fees and travel time for his workers. The Respondent was therefore ordered to pay the Applicant the sum of $5,000.00.
Read the full case here.
LPC Lawyers’ ‘BIFA in Focus’ Article Series
Part 1 – Beware Unlicensed Contractors!
Payment disputes in the building and construction industry are common. Contractors and subcontractors should be well aware of their entitlements and risks to receiving payment when undertaking ‘building work’ to ensure they are being afforded the protection offered under the security of payment legislation in Queensland.
This three-part series will explore the risks of undertaking building work without the appropriate QBCC licence, the importance of ensuring work is adequately described in a payment claim and a party’s rights to challenge an adjudication decision. Read more here.
Part 2 – Is your payment claim valid?
Thinking of cutting corners? Think again. To be afforded the protections under the security of payment legislation in Queensland and avoid the risk of not getting paid, contractors must ensure they are serving valid payment claims. This week we explore one of the key requirements that must be satisfied under s 68(1) of the BIF Act; ensuring work is adequately described. Read more here.
Part 3 – Error or No Error?
It is well established that the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld) provides contractors a mechanism to promptly resolve payment claim disputes and recover money owed under a construction contract. These disputes are resolved by an adjudicator with any amount determined as owing to the contractor to be paid within the statutory timeframe. However, there are circumstances were an unsuccessful respondent may seek to have the decision reviewed – fortunately for contractors these circumstances are very limited. The final part of this series explores the circumstances which enable a respondent to seek judicial review of an adjudication decision if they are unhappy with the result. Read more here.
Stay tuned for LPC’s next article series which will be posted on 6 November 2023.
LPC Lawyers’ Continued Expansion
LPC Lawyers is continuing to look to hire candidates as we head into 2024, with opportunities for growth in our expanding practice.
Litigation Lawyers (1-3 years PAE)
Working closely with an ex-top tier partner, this role is ideal for a candidate who is highly motivated and has experience in drafting correspondence, simple pleadings, briefs for Counsel, and some client advisory work.