Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Govt Trials New Building Laws

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Govt Trials New Building Laws

Article excerpt

BILL

HOFFMAN

bill.hoffman@scnews.com.au

NEW legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament late last year came into force on Thursday with the aim of improving security of payment for construction industry subcontractors.

Project Bank Accounts to quarantine money owed to subcontractors for work done and material supplied applied from Thursday to Queensland Government construction contracts priced from $1 million to $10 million.

The 12-month trial meant to road test the legislation will be followed by the rollout of Project Bank Accounts across the industry.

It comes as the collapse of two Gold Coast building companies during the past week have brought the total since 2014 to 34 with losses in excess of $385 million.

Subcontactors Alliance spokesman Les Williams, of Coolum, has welcomed the long-awaited stiffening of payment securities.

But he said it was essential that the nature of construction sector collapses, starting with Walton Construction in late 2013, were taken out of the hands of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and investigated by police for potential fraud.

The alliance last July referred the Walton collapse and that of Central Queensland building company JM Kelly to Queensland Police, but had received no further information about the progress of any investigation.

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni PBAs were the centrepiece of the government's the Building Industry Fairness Act, measures that created the strongest subcontractor protections in the nation.

"Queensland's $45 billion construction sector employs over 220,000 people and it is vitally important that subcontractors and suppliers feel confident they will be paid in full, on time and every time," Mr de Brenni said.

"Today we take a giant step in reversing the damage caused by the LNP's absurd self-reporting financial scheme for building companies. …

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