Two construction managers with laptop

QLD Government responds to 'building industry fairness' reform recommendations report

Published: 18 February 2020

The Queensland Government has issued its response to the Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel Report (Report), which proposed amendments to the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) regarding the use of project bank accounts (PBAs).

The Queensland Government has either accepted or accepted in principle all 20 recommendations proposed in the Report. The reforms are expected to commence on 1 July 2020 and be fully implemented within 24 months.

In making its announcement, the Queensland Government highlighted the invaluable contribution made to communities and the economic prosperity of our state by those working in the building and construction industry, saying “they deserve to be paid for the work they do”.

To ensure this happens, the government introduced new Building Industry Fairness legislation into Parliament on 5 February 2020.

The Building Industry Fairness and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 includes security of payment reforms to:

  • extend Project Bank Accounts to the private sector and rename them Project and Retention Trusts to more closely reflect what the accounts do
  • enable a claimant to make a withholding request if they aren’t paid an adjudicated amount
  • give head contractors more protections, such as being able to place a charge on land when they aren’t paid an adjudicated amount
  • introduce a penalty for underpayment of a scheduled amount

The legislation will commence on 1 July 2020.

Previous Building Industry Fairness reforms commenced on 10 November 2017 through the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017.

The Queensland Government is strengthening and expanding its safeguard for subcontractor payments following:

AMCA Queensland has joined with Services Trades partners – Master Plumbers Association Queensland and the National Fire Industry Association—to engage Cornwalls Solicitors to prepare a joint submission in support of these strong reform measures.