Construction and Infrastructure

2015/16 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Council approved the establishment of the Construction and Infrastructure Committee in August 2015. The Council also approved the Committee’s meetings being held in conjunction with meetings of the Law Council of Australia’s Construction and Infrastructure WA Group. This Group is part of the Law Council’s Business Law Section’s longstanding Construction and Infrastructure Committee.

The rationale for the establishment of the committee was to ensure the Law Society had the benefit of receiving the views of a specialist group of practitioners on matters of local relevance. There was ample precedent for holding Law Society committee meetings with meetings of the Law Council counterpart committees and groups. Almost invariably topics for discussion by the Law Council’s WA Group have related to local jurisdictional issues. The deliberations of the Group may now be shared more directly with the Law Society through this Committee.

As Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Construction and Infrastructure Committee and its WA Group, I was appointed the Committee’s inaugural Convenor.

There is considerable overlap of members of the Law Society’s Committee and members of the Law Council’s Committee.

The Committee meets quarterly. The Committee’s requirements for secretarial support has been minimal.

The Committee’s activities for 2015/16 included the following:

  • monitoring the review of the Construction Contracts Act 2004 by Professor P Evans and discussion on the benefits of national harmonisation of the security of payment legislation throughout the States and Territories;
  • monitoring the preparation by Standards Australia of a replacement standard general conditions of contract for standards AS2124 and AS4000, to be known as AS11000;
  • consideration of decisions of the Supreme Court and the State Administrative Appeals Tribunal on cases of significance to the construction industry; and
  • co-hosting a seminar for construction practitioners with the Resolutions Institute (formerly The Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia), the Society of Construction Law Australia and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 26 November 2015 with function host Jackson McDonald.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au