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The last La Niña (wet period) lasted for more than 1 year and ended in March 2023. After a few months of a neutral period, El Niño (dry period) started in September 2023. El Niño was expected to persist until at least the second quarter of this year. However, based on the latest forecast of the Bureau of Meteorology and contrary to expectations, El Niño is ending and La Niña is approaching.[1] La Niña is likely to cause stronger winds and increased rainfall, which may result in tropical cyclones (in severe cases). Such inclement weather will likely impact the progress of construction works and cause delays in projects. Accordingly, the contractors should allocate extra allowance for preliminaries in the projects moving forward.

Further, the contractors should comply with the extension of time (EOT) regime to avoid a potential hefty liquidated damages claim from the principals. The contractors should meticulously submit notices of delay and EOT claims within the period required under the contract. Other than making EOT claims based on inclement weather itself, the contractors should also consider whether the contracts allow for EOT claims arising from the consequence/effect of inclement weather (i.e. wet conditions of the site affecting construction works after heavy rain).

If you would like to discuss this article with us further, please contact Brett Vincent, Partner, or Vince Yap, Associate on (02) 9261 5900.

[1] Bureau of Meteorology,