02 December 2016

Queensland’s building and construction industry is set for major reform

The Queensland Government has released a “Queensland Building Plan” Discussion Paper on 30 November 2016, and is seeking public feedback on reforms to nine areas:

  1. security of payment scheme;
  2. the home warranty scheme;
  3. Plumbing and Drainage Act review;
  4. Queensland Housing Code/ Reconfiguring a Lot Code;
  5. building certification;
  6. livable housing design;
  7. licensing reforms;
  8. non-conforming building products; and
  9. sustainable buildings.

The announcement follows the release of a report by Deloittes into the economic and social benefits of reform to the security of payment regime (currently governed by the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 and the Subcontractors Charges Act 1974).

The Government proposes to introduce “Project Bank Accounts” (PBAs) to all government projects from 1 January 2018, and to the private sector from January 2019.

A PBA will be a trust account set up by the head contractor which operates as follows:

  1. subcontractor submits progress claim to the head contractor;
  2. head contractor submits payment claim to principal;
  3. principal’s superintendent approves (or rejects) payment claim submitted by a head contractor;
  4. principal pays approved sum into the PBA account; and
  5. bank directly pays the head contractor and the first tier of subcontractors.

A ‘one-stop-shop’ piece of legislation incorporating the proposed PBA legislation, the existing Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 and the Subcontractors Charges Act 1974 is proposed. 

More information is available from the Department of Housing and Public Works

Discussion surveys will be released on 12 December 2016, and information sessions are to be held in February and March 2017.

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