ARE YOU in the Construction sector? Is your business ready for the changes coming.
- Security of Payment – the Building Industry Fairness Act (BIF)
- Project Bank Accounts
- Changes to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act including more powers and penalties
- Updates to Phoenix Activity
- Fair Commercial Conduct under the QBCC Act
- Building Rectification Changes
- Labour Hire Licensing
Building Industry Fairness Reforms
A series of reforms to improve security of payment for subcontractors were introduced through the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017.
Reforms included project bank accounts, progress payments, increasing the independence of the adjudication registry, a simple English version of the present Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974 and amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 to prevent phoenixing and strengthen the licensing framework.
The second phase of the building industry fairness reforms will take effect from 17 December 2018.
This will include new procedures for payment claims, payment responses and adjudication of payment disputes, as well as incorporation of the modernised subcontractors’ charges provisions. These provisions will replace the existing Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 and Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974.
Project Bank Accounts
Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) have been established for certain projects to safeguard progress payments, protect retention monies and allow for more timely payments to subcontractors.
From 1 March 2018, projects tendered by the Queensland Government have used PBAs on building and construction projects (excluding engineering projects) valued between $1 million and $10 million. Following implementation, this model is set to apply to private sector projects valued from $1 million. However, this will not occur before 1 March 2019.
One new Security of Payment Act
Several Acts contain provisions aimed at protecting payment to subcontractors. Relevant provisions from the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA), the Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974 (SCA) and the new provisions about Project Bank Accounts (PBAs), will all be incorporated into a single piece of legislation.
A single Security of Payment Act should make relevant provisions easier to find and interpret. It is also supposed to provide a holistic view of Queensland’s comprehensive security of payment regime.
Enhanced powers for the QBCC
Amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1992 (QBCC Act) will enhance the QBCC’s ability to regulate the building industry.
- Improved ability to detect non-compliance with payment obligations.
- Higher penalties will be introduced for individuals who perform unlicensed or defective building work.
- Standardised investigator powers will provide greater transparency and equity to the industry.
- Expanded definitions in legislation will mean an individual who substantially influences a company’s affairs cannot avoid penalty or the consequences of a company becoming insolvent.
- Minimum Financial Requirements will be placed into a regulation, so that the requirements will be set independently of the QBCC
We can assist you with advice. Contact Doug McKinstry and his Construction Law team today on 40461111