Posted by Ben Robertson | 09 December 2020 | Civil Contractors and Construction
2020 has been a difficult and turbulent year for many, starting with the devastating bushfires quickly followed by the unprecedented and lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal and State Governments enacted emergency legislation to provide temporary relief measures for individuals and businesses, with these measures extended throughout the year. The provisions providing a temporary safe harbour for directors from personal liability for insolvent trading and the temporary changes to the creditors statutory demand regime are due to expire on 31 December 2020. Businesses should be taking urgent steps to prepare for this deadline to avoid a New Years Day hangover that is worse than usual.
In addition to the COVID-19 emergency measures, NSW has continued with its structural legislative reforms aimed at improving quality and public confidence in the construction sector. The roadmap for reform of the construction sector was announced in February 2020, with the NSW Government’s Six Pillar Reform Plan targeted at:
Industry and government working groups are focused on actioning each of the Six Pillars, and Nexus will continue to closely follow and report on developments throughout the course of 2021.
Key legislative moments for Australia’s Construction & Infrastructure industry this year included:
The Construction sector remains a driving force for the economy and Nexus looks forward to working with you in 2021 to help navigate and succeed in this new legislative landscape.
On 17 July 2021, the NSW Government issued a public health order directing that work not be carried out on construction sites in Greater Sydney. "Following construction sites being shut down over 17 – 18 July 2021, builders and subcontractors should review their contracts closely and attend to issuing contract notices for extensions of time and suspension of work as applicable," said Nexus National Practice Director Ben Robertson.
"With NSW Design & Building Practitioners Act 2020 coming into force on 1 July 2021, there will be a 12 month transition period to allow industry to adapt to the new provisions," said National Practice Director Ben Robertson.
"As we reported last year, business interruption policy insurers lost a significant test case in the NSW Court of Appeal when the court found that many exclusion clauses, which insurers sought to rely upon to deny claims for business interruption due to COVID 19, were invalid," said Nexus National Practice Director Construction & Infrastructure Ben Robertson.