Project bank accounts to secure payments for subcontractors

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The Palaszczuk Government is planning to legislate a new secure payment system to ensure contractors in the building and construction industry get paid in full and on-time.

The Queensland building and construction industry is set for historic reform, as the Palaszczuk Government prepares new laws to introduce a suite of measures to ensure security of payment for subcontractors, including project bank accounts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that her Government’s action on security of payment for subcontractors would set Queensland’s construction industry up for long-term growth.

“We took a commitment to the last election to review security of payment for subcontractors. The evidence is in and it shows that all Queenslanders will benefit from making sure people get paid in-full, on-time and every time,” the Premier said.

“The balance hasn’t been right. It’s time to get construction back on the level.”

The Premier said project bank accounts will provide security and confidence to the 69,000 small subcontracting businesses around the State.

“What’s been clear from listening to subcontractors is that some more unscrupulous operators in the industry are using non-payment as a business model,” she said.

“Too many families have been torn apart because of this issue, and too many tradies have lost their businesses and even their homes.”

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was now preparing legislation to phase in project bank accounts across the state.

“Project bank accounts are the centrepiece of a suite of measures that will make sure subbies aren’t left out in the cold,” the Minister said.

“From January 1 2019, every construction project over $1 million will be required to operate a project bank account.

“We will be supporting industry to transition by introducing project bank accounts on all Queensland Government construction projects between $1 million and $10 million from the start of 2018.

“The Deloitte report is clear – security of payment means more jobs and more investment from small business.”

Mr de Brenni said that project banks accounts were part of a series of proposed reforms outlined in Palaszczuk Government’s proposed Queensland Building Plan.

“The Queensland building and construction industry is worth $44 billion to our economy and provides work for 220,000 Queenslanders.

“Our Queensland Building Plan will build a solid base for continued confidence across the industry, for builders, subcontractors and consumers.”

Mr de Brenni said that matters covered in the Queensland Building Plan will include the QBCC Home Warranty Scheme, non-conforming building products, licencing reforms and a potential single housing code for Queensland, amongst others.

“This government is absolutely committed to building confidence in our construction sector and major reforms like supporting subbies demonstrate this commitment.

“Over the coming months this government will be engage with building and construction industry stakeholders to finalise the details of our building legislation.”

Consultation on the Queensland Building Plan will be open until April 2017. More information about the plan can be found at www.hpw.qld.gov.au

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