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    All to be gained: construction codes, places and standard contracts

    Deborah Singerman

    Never give up could be the message from the decision, finally, and reported in the July/August issue of Infolink-BPN, that there will be free access for registered users to the National Construction Code on the web from 2015. 

    Details about access via mobile devices will also be announced, and will likely add to the already anticipated increase, almost 20-fold according to state and federal governments, in the number of building and plumbing practitioners using the construction code.

    Places

    Perseverance and having faith in what you are doing have also helped one of Australia’s longest standing place-making consultancies Place Partners, receive the Place Leaders’ inaugural award for Place Professionals. 

    The Place Leaders Asia Pacific’ jury citation praised the consultancy for demonstrating “commitment in the somewhat barren early years” and for continuing to show attributes so welcome today. “They bristle with advocacy, they collaborate seamlessly and selflessly and they publish and broadcast their experiences and perspectives through books, presentations and seminars.”

    Contracts

    Meanwhile, results from a research project by Melbourne Law School into support for, and current practice in, using standard forms of contract showed broad support for use of standard forms. 

    Supported by many organisations and individuals including the Society of Construction Law Australia, and backed by a web-based survey, the research also showed that 54 per cent of respondents (295 responses representing 379 projects) believed there was no standard form capable of being used in Australia without substantial amendment. 

    The main reason for amendment was the “need to shift risk”, including extensions of time, delay damages, site conditions, variations, and workplace health and safety. The law school hoped these results would feed into the continuing evolution of standard forms, another example of persistence with an aim to build on – and improve - what you already have. 

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