The Palaszczuk Government has delivered on its election commitment to bring security of payment for the 240,000 Queenslanders who work in the State’s building and construction industry.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said ensuring that tradies get paid had never been more important as global economies struggle with the impact of COVID-19.
“Because we’re continuing to manage the health response to COVID-19, we have already started delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” the Minister said.
“Part of that plan is supporting traditional industries like building and construction and that means making sure Queensland tradies get paid.
“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering $267 million in stimulus for the construction industry.
“And passing these reforms today helps make sure that this stimulus ends up in the pockets of Queensland tradies.
“When tradies see their jobs lined up and have confidence they’ll get paid for that work, they invest in their local economy, whether it’s buying a new ute or taking on another apprentice.”
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government had been rebuilding confidence to the $46 billion building and construction industry since 2015.
“Since Campbell Newman and the LNP gutted building industry regulation, the Palaszczuk Government has taken great strides to ensure Queensland sub-contractors and tradies are paid in full, on time, every time,” said Mr de Brenni.
“When the Palaszczuk Government introduced the Building Industry Fairness Act in August 2017, we made it clear we were not going to accept late and non-payment or put it in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Mr de Brenni said that Project Bank Accounts have, to date, applied to government projects valued at between $1 million and $10 million, including social housing, police stations, and schools right across the State.
“Already, over $1 billion in government contracts have now been awarded with built-in payment protections, enhancing payment security for thousands of Queensland jobs.”
Today’s addition to the Building Industry Fairness Act delivers:
- A simplified Project Bank Account framework, now called Trust Accounts,
- Greater prosecuting powers to the QBCC to investigate false statutory declarations,
- More ways for builders to recoup monies owed, including charges on land and payment withholding requests on financiers,
- Greater transparency of the certification process to increase consumer confidence,
- More effective regulatory powers for the Boards of architects and engineers, improving confidence in the standards of safety and quality of the built environment,
- A statutory review into the role of property developers, including their workplace practices, in the construction industry.
Mr de Brenni said that the government had listened to the needs of industry as it faced ongoing challenges in response to COVID-19, and would be allowing more time for industry to adjust and understand the Project Trust Account model before it was implemented.
“We’ve worked hard with industry to design a simple system where progress payments and retention funds are held in trust and can only be paid to people who perform the work.
“One thing we did hear loud and clear was that industry needs time to adjust before we implement a new trust account framework that is intended to apply to all eligible Queensland construction projects valued at over $1 million, particularly as many are facing the unforeseen impacts of COVID-19.
Mr de Brenni said the Project Trust Account system will be progressively extended across Queensland’s $46 billion construction sector from March 2021, while other protections will commence this year.