New security of payment rules for Queensland construction

| July 8, 2018

The Palaszczuk Government has announced the next phase of its Building Industry Fairness legislation, which aims to improve financial protections for Queensland subcontractors and ensure they receive prompt payment for their services.

The state’s Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the reforms, which fall in line with the Palasczuk Government’s election commitments, would help ensure Queensland’s small businesses are paid in full, on time, every time.

“The first term Palaszczuk Government took to the 2017 election a commitment to deliver security of payment for subcontractors in Queensland $45 billion building and construction industry,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Ensuring people are paid for the work they perform means industry can stop wasting time chasing late or unpaid invoices, and can instead focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs for Queenslanders.

“In 2017, it was this Labor government that passed historic reforms supporting small businesses in the building and construction industry – the Building Industry Fairness legislation.

“These are the strongest protections for subcontractors in the country.

“A central component of those reforms was Project Bank Accounts, and from March 1 2018 they now apply to all government construction projects between $1 and $10 million.

“As of today, 4 projects have been awarded that require using Project Bank Accounts, 11 tenders are currently being assessed, and another 14 are out to tender.”

Mr de Brenni said the BIF Act also legislated to appoint Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel to work with government and with the building industry to assess the implementation of this legislation.

“I’m pleased to announce that I have appointed four eminent professionals to the panel,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Ms Bronwyn Weir has been appointed as Chair. Ms Weir is a legal specialist in regulatory practice, enforcement and compliance matters in the building and construction industry.”

“Ms Weir is joined by Ms Jennifer Robertson, corporate governance consultant and practicing lawyer and Deputy Chair of the QBCC; Mr Troy Lewis, a specialist in construction litigation and security of payment law; and Ms Fiona Aitchison Reid, Principal Solicitor in a construction law firm.

“In the interests of business confidence, we will commence these reforms in tranches, and following industry consultation on the next tranches, I will introduce BIF Act amendments into the House to progress the next stages of reform.

“I intend for these provisions to commence from 17 December 2018.

“Our Building Industry Fairness reforms are a comprehensive package of reforms that will get the building and construction industry back on the level.

“Importantly, some of these reforms are designed to reverse the damage caused by the LNP’s absurd self reporting scheme for building companies.

“The Newman Government opened the door to dodgy operators to send Queensland subbies to the wall by making it easy for them to delay or deny payments, and set up sham phoenix companies.

“They left the QBCC blind to the financial situation of companies until it was much too late.

“The Palaszczuk Government is backing Queensland business so it can get on with the job of creating jobs for Queenslanders.

A discussion paper will be released for industry consultation in coming weeks, and an approved regulation for Minimum Financial Requirements will operate from 1 January 2019.

Photo courtesy of toolstotal.