Queensland's Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill - now through Committee stages...
The Public Works and Utilities Committee late last week recommended that the Bill (which we summarised in our Building & Construction News Alert 'Do you know about the Queensland's Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill 2017?' of 13 October 2017) be passed with very few recommendations for amendment. Of the recommendations made by the committee, the following are of particular interest:
- Recommendation 3
There be a Ministerial review of the appropriateness of proposed imprisonment penalties for a number of new offences contained in the Bill. This was urged on the committee by various submitters including the Queensland Law Society.
- Recommendation 4
The Minister consider amending the Bill to require the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to afford builders the opportunity to rectify building work before a direction to rectify is issued and demerit point penalties apply.
- Recommendation 5
There needs to be further consultation with the industry concerning mandated provisions of contracts and prohibited provisions.
Despite industry submissions opposing Project Bank Accounts (PBA’s) there was no recommended changes to those provisions. There are some 9 parliament sitting days before the end of the year and one would expect that the priority shown to this legislation might mean it will be passed before Christmas if indeed there is no election called prior.
The committee report is of some interest as the report helpfully summarises the submissions of various industry participants nearer its conclusion including HIA, MBQ, Brisbane City Council and others. MBQ and HIA have been consistent in their opposition to PBA’s and have drawn the attention of the committee to various technical matters that question the effectiveness of preserving any “monies in dispute”. One would hope that the Department of Housing and Public Works takes into account the various submissions made in considering amendments to the Bill. Some members of the committee have raised concerns that such an important Bill is being rushed through at a pace that will inevitably mean a lack of full consideration to its content.
We will report any developments concerning commencement of the legislation or its amendment.
Tony Mylne, Partner