Posted by Ben Robertson | 15 June 2021 | Civil Contractors and Construction
“Each year, we are always proud to take part and contribute to this global series and resource,” said Nexus National Practice Director – Construction & Infrastructure Ben Robertson, “Our Q&A Guide to Construction and Projects in Australia provides an in-depth overview of: the main trends developing in the local construction and projects market; which significant deals and national projects are currently underway; the most common procurement arrangements, transaction structures and corporate vehicles being used; which main contractual issues being faced; and much more.”
Commenting on the effect COVID had the Australian economy and construction sector, Ben said “The construction industry will be a key driver for recovery from COVID-19 impacts in Australia. The industry has been classified as essential under the Australian COVID-19 regime, and federal and state governments have introduced measures to ensure that the construction industry keeps running throughout the pandemic. As a result, the construction industry will be one of the more resilient industries in terms of economic impacts, although it will be affected by supply chain impacts in the medium term.”
“The residential construction sector has been stimulated with the 2020 Federal Government HomeBuilder scheme which was extended into the first quarter of 2021, National Housing Finance Investment Corporation guarantees and state government grants. The residential sector has weathered the storm of the pandemic better than most industries with some early emergency changes to worksites to allow building work to take place on Saturdays. Supply of some materials was impacted by COVID19 due to the impact on manufacturing processes, however, by and large the impact on the residential sector was minimal.
“The commercial and retail building market in Australia has performed well over the past few years, recently recording record highs. Despite any short term impact of the pandemic, activity is expected to return to high levels for the next 12 months before returning to more consistent levels over the next five years. There is likely to be a short term to medium term hangover, with businesses adopting more ‘working from home’ and remote working activities, although over the longer term, we anticipate that the sector will recover as businesses return more and more to face-to-face interactions and engagements with staff and clients.”
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.