Liability/Injury

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 ranging audit of buildings built between 1994 and 2004. Meanwhile, the Victorian government has launched a taskforce, led by Ted Baillieu and John Thwaites to …

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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 much anticipated report will address: The economic impact of non-conforming building products on the Australian building and construction industry The impact of non-conforming building products …

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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 found a 51% rate of non-compliance, albeit only two buildings were required to carry out rectification work. The findings, which were fairly controversial, left building …

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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 professional indemnity insurance, particularly for higher risk professional groups. Prior to the change, the Tasmanian legislation contained a singularly unhelpful provision ’27(c)’, which was not …

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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 text messages were available – on his personal computer or Apple iCloud account – the plaintiff said he could do no more to provide the …

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