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Building & Construction News Alert: Legislative developments within the Building & Construction industry

News Alert 15 August 2014

Building and Construction Industry Payment Amendment - BCIPA Amendment Bill

The Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee were due to report to parliament on 18 August 2014, in respect of the proposed Building and Construction Industry Payment (BCIPA) Amendment Bill, which the TressCox Construction Team has reported and presented on previously. That Committee is now due to report to parliament at a later date being 1 September 2014. It had been expected that the BCIPA Amendment Bill would have been passed by that stage and become law, but the anticipated date for commencement is now late September / early October.

It is anticipated that there will be changes to the BCIPA Amendment Bill proposed, not the least of which shall be a correction to the definition of ‘complex claim’. It is proposed that the categorisation as a complex claim will be based solely upon the level of the claim, namely $750,000 or above. There will no longer be any reference to latent conditions or time related costs in the definition.

Once the BCIPA Amendment Bill has been passed we intend to forward a complete update as to the full set of amendments and it is probable that a further seminar will be held in our Brisbane office in relation to the practical consequences of any changes.

Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act – QBCC Amendment Bill

This Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) Amendment Bill was presented to parliament on 7 August 2014 and the closing date for public submissions on the QBCC Amendment Bill is the 21 August 2014. On 7 August 2014, the matter was referred to the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee to report back to parliament by 8 October 2014.

Among the various amendments contained within the QBCC Amendment Bill are important provisions relating to the licensing of contractors. Under the current legislation there are harsh consequences for insolvency events of licensees and their companies, which can result in lifetime exclusion or in the case of one event, a 5 year exclusion. Currently, the licensees can review their definition as an ‘excluded individual’ and licensees and non licensees alike can make an application to the QBCC seeking for them to be defined a permitted individual. A permitted individual is someone who can convince the QBCC or indeed on review the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, that they have taken reasonable steps to avoid the occurrence of the offending insolvency event.

Under the proposed QBCC Amendment Bill, no permitted individual applications will now be allowed and a non licensees will have no redress at all. Licensees will only have a right of reply concerning an exclusion, and while the exclusion can be reviewed, it will be only a very limited review.

While this would seem harsh in the circumstances, the exclusion period has been reduced to 3 years for a single event.

In addition, the insolvency events of companies will only be events with respect to construction companies as opposed to as is currently any insolvency event.

The amendments in general will have the effect of severely restricting the review of decisions affecting licensees and others, livelihoods. We would imagine that there would be considerable interest with respect to public submissions in relation to these otherwise unheralded changes. No apparent reason has been provided for these changes by the explanatory memorandum.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Tony Mylne, Partner, Brisbane Construction Team.

Tony Mylne, Partner

News Alert 15 August 2014
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