Natasha Stojanovich

CFMEU says thousands of Australian buildings are clad in non-conforming cladding

The CFMEU has made explosive comments at a recent hearing of the senate inquiry into non-conforming building products. In his testimony earlier this month, Travis Wacey of the CFMEU alleged that thousands of Australian buildings may be clad in non-conforming cladding, which may pose a fire risk. The contentious use of cladding, which is alleged to be flammable, continues to unfold on the national stage, with the Queensland government on 30 June announcing a wide …

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CPA’s woes worsen – with members’ limited liability at risk

As heads continue to roll at the CPA, there is more bad news afoot for CPA members. On 7 October 2017, all public practitioner members of the CPA will lose the protection of their Professional Standards Scheme. This means that they will no longer have the benefit of liability caps, as provided for under the scheme, and may leave members with uninsured exposure to claims which exceed current levels of insurance. The Professional Standards Council, …

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New laws place real estate agents under the hammer

On 1 May, amendments to the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) took effect in Victoria. The new legislation is designed to address the allegedly widespread practice of underquoting in the Victorian real estate industry. The new laws strengthen existing prohibitions on underquoting, and apply only to residential properties. The legislation requires, amongst other things: The estimated selling price to be reasonable, and within a 10% range, i.e. $500,000 to $550,000 The estimated selling price not …

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Senate Inquiry into ‘non-confirming’ building products is wrapping up

On 23 June 2015, the Senate commenced a wide-ranging an inquiry into the use of ‘non-conforming’ building products (being products and materials that do not meet required standards). The inquiry was launched following a 2014 fire in a Victorian apartment complex involving the use of aluminium composite panelling. The due date for reporting has been extended several times, and the report is now due to be released on 25 May 2017. The long awaited and …

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The Victorian Building Authority fires up for further audits

Following the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne’s Docklands in late 2014, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) conducted an audit of non-compliant wall cladding systems of high rise buildings in inner city Melbourne. By way of background, the Lacrosse building was clad in aluminium composite panelling, and it is alleged that the panelling (with a combustible core) contributed to the fire’s dramatic spread up the exterior façade of the building, causing significant property damage. The VBA’s audit …

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To cap or not to cap? Tassie finally joins the party

Late last year Tasmania passed changes to its capped liability legislation, finally bringing it into line with the mainland, more than 10 years after the legislation was first introduced in the apple isle. The legislation allows professional groups to register schemes, by which their members can, by statute ‘cap’ or limit their professional liability, to be consistent with their level of professional indemnity insurance. Such schemes are designed to promote the availability and affordability of …

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Finding dirt in the cloud?

A recent Supreme Court decision has ‘opened the door’ to litigants seeking discovery of supposedly ‘deleted’ electronic material in the Cloud. The decision concerned a dispute about discovery in a defamation proceeding. It all turned on seeking access to text messages which had been deleted from the plaintiff’s i-Phone. The plaintiff said his i-Phone had been damaged, back-ups deleted, and was therefore unable to discover relevant text messages. As no backed up copies of the …

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