Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017.
I’m proud to be part of a Government that is providing greater certainty in the way builders and subcontractors receive payment. For over a year the Palaszczuk Government listened to the needs and concerns of builders and subcontractors and followed through by introducing the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017.
This was a landmark reform that addressed and tightened serious deficiencies and gaps in the previous legislation that led to the systematic underpayment of builders and subbies.
The Palaszczuk Governments consultation found some contractors delayed or even withheld payments from builders and subcontractors to offset costs, supplement cashflow, receive interest and avoid additional costs for accessing further funding.
The consultation process also revealed that such practices which were once considered to be poor business practice, had become the standard practice for some, putting immense pressure on small business and their employee’s who just wanted their pay for a fair day’s work.
This is what the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 addressed, requiring head contractors to establish separate Project Bank Accounts for government building contracts between $1 and $10 million to quarantine money so builders and subbies will be payed on time.
The construction sector employs more than 200,000 people and contributes more than $40 billion to the state’s economy, which is why this government has worked towards establishing fairness in the sector so all can benefit, not just those at top end.
Given this great work by the Palaszczuk Government, it’s disappointing to see the current Turnbull Federal Government release it’s final report on Security of Payment laws recommending a consistent national framework based on the NSW model.
The report fails to recognise key elements of the Queensland approach such as Project Bank Accounts to provide protection for parties down the contract chain such as builders and subbies.
Such an approach is vastly deficient.
It was the previous state LNP government that opened the door for dodgy operators through an ill-thought self-reporting financial scheme for building companies that paved the way for them to either delay payments or not pay them at all.
It just goes to show that the Coalition cannot be trusted on security of payment for subbies and that only the Palaszczuk Government and an approach that compliments Queensland unique system can ensure a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.