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Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Reform

Published: 20 July 2020

Members are advised that last week the Palaszczuk Government added to the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017. This act introduced measures to assist Trade Contractors to get paid fairly for the work they have done.

Subcontractors getting paid for their work has long been an issue in the building and construction industry. For that reason, the AMCA, along with other peak industry associations and the Union have for years petitioned the Queensland Government for much needed and long overdue reform.

As a society we would not ask a nurse to work 10 hours and only pay her for 3. Yet this has been the reality for our plumbers, refrigeration, and air conditioning contractors for too long.  We all know people who have lost their job, their business, and who have tragically taken their life because of the financial stress and pressure unfairly placed on them through builders refusing to pay for quality work the sub-contractor has completed. Many of you have also felt this unfair treatment and had little to no recourse to claim the money owed to you.

The AMCA is pleased the Honorable Minister Mick de Brenni, MP, listened to our case for fair payment for our subbies and took action to address the grossly unfair practice of not paying subbies for their hard work.  AMCA looks forward to Queensland taking the biggest step forward on subbie payments in our nation’s history.  These laws are a significant and genuine step forward for our industry.

Today’s addition to the Building Industry Fairness Act delivers:

  • A simplified Project Bank Account framework, now called Trust Accounts,
  • Greater prosecuting powers to the QBCC to investigate false statutory declarations,
  • More ways for builders to recoup monies owed, including charges on land and payment withholding requests on financiers,
  • Greater transparency of the certification process to increase consumer confidence,
  • More effective regulatory powers for the Boards of architects and engineers, improving confidence in the standards of safety and quality of the built environment,
  • A statutory review into the role of property developers, including their workplace practices, in the construction industry.

Announcing the passing of reforms on Wednesday, Minister de Brenni said;

“When the Palaszczuk Government introduced the Building Industry Fairness Act in August 2017, we made it clear we were not going to accept late and non-payment or put it in the 'too hard' basket.”

Mr de Brenni said that Project Bank Accounts have, to date, applied to government projects valued at between $1 million and $10 million, including social housing, police stations, and schools right across the State.

“Already, over $1 billion in government contracts have now been awarded with built-in payment protections, enhancing payment security for thousands of Queensland jobs.” 

Further information on the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 can be found here

For more information

Adrian Shackleton
Executive Director
+61 431 091 424