Delays hit roll out of new construction rules
CRUCIAL reforms to deliver payment security to Queensland's $45 billion building and construction sector have been pushed back from July 1 until December.
It would be the second delay to the Building Industry Fairness Act implementation following its introduction into State Parliament before the last election.
The trial of project bank accounts on some government projects valued between $1 million and $10 million was due to start on January 1 but was stalled until March in part because of delays caused by the state election.
Changes to Minimum Financial Requirements for Queensland Building and Construction Commission licensees would now not come into effect before January 1, 2019, despite a rash of industry insolvencies.
Subcontractors Alliance head Les Williams, whose group has driven the push for reform since the 2013 collapse of Walton Construction and the Newman LNP Government's subsequent easing of financial reporting requirements, said he remained confident it would come albeit more slowly than he would have hoped.
However in the interim he would like to see liquidators required to provide proof of how a builder had complied with the financial requirements for licence when it had been found to be trading while insolvent over a number of years.
"Subbies and home owners engage with a builder on the basis of their Queensland Building and Construction Commission licence," Mr Walton said.
"When you see the names of 200 subbies on a creditors' list it means they have not been paid. How was the builder paid by the client in that circumstance? Did he give false stat decs (statutory declarations) to the client?"
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said industry reforms were designed to reverse the damage caused by "the LNP's absurd self reporting scheme for building companies".
"The Newman Government opened the door to dodgy operators to send Queensland subbies to the wall by making it easy for them to delay or deny payments, and set up sham phoenix companies," Mr de Brenni said.
"They left the QBCC blind to the financial situation of companies until it was much too late."
He said a discussion paper would be released for industry consultation in coming weeks, and an approved regulation for Minimum Financial Requirements would operate from January 1.
The government has to date awarded four projects that required the use of Project Bank Accounts with another 11 tenders being assessed, and a further 14 are out to tender."
Mr de Brenni said he had appointed four eminent professionals to an implementation and evaluation panel to work with government and with the building industry to assess the legislation.