Queensland tradies are set to secure the strongest payment protections in the nation’s history as the Palaszczuk Government announces its response to two independent reports into its building industry fairness reforms.
In an effort to continue to bolster confidence in Queensland’s Building and Construction Industry, today Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni tabled the Building Industry Fairness and Special Joint Taskforce Reports in Parliament.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was committed to ensuring everyone working in Queensland’s construction sector is paid in full, on time, every time.
“We know there is dignity in work, but there’s no dignity at all in being left unpaid,” the Premier said.
“My Government commissioned the Special Joint Taskforce report, which investigated historical claims of non-payment, to learn the lessons dodgy contractors pose to the industry, to see our subbies no longer shoulder unnecessary financial risk.
“Since 2015 Labor has been working to restore confidence and fairness in our state’s $46 billion industry after the Campbell Newman Government deregulated it to the point of breaking.
“Our actions have resulted in more confidence in the construction industry with $692.4 million worth of contracts with Project Bank Accounts.
“This ensures tradies get paid in full, on time, every time and boosts confidence in an industry that employs 240,000 people across the state.
“Today’s Special Joint Taskforce and Building Industry Fairness reports outline what this government will do to continue to support Queensland’s subbies and tradies.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government would be accepting the recommendations from the reports so that there could be greater fairness for the 240,000 Queensland workers employed in the state’s building and construction industry.
Mr de Brenni said a key component of the comprehensive suite of security of payment reforms is the Project Bank Account (PBA) system, that requires money to be held in trust for tradies.
“After introducing Project Bank Accounts in 2018, we’ve now successfully trialled this system for government building contracts valued at between $1 million and $10 million.
“The review into this first phase, vindicates the reform pathway and makes recommendations to help the system work even better and is now publicly available.
“Today I can confirm that the Queensland Government supports and will progress every single one of the Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel’s recommendations.”
Mr de Brenni said the Government trial enlisted the panel to identify options to streamline the PBA process and phase its approach, to smooth the transition over to the PBA system within industry starting in 2020.
“Within 24 months, PBAs will apply to all Queensland building projects valued at over $1 million.
“From 1 July 2020, it is proposed to expand the system through a phased approach – leaving plenty of time for the industry to prepare and have new administrative procedures in place, minimising financial stress.
“We’ve taken industry feedback on PBAs, we know industry is willing to update their business practise if this means a boost to industry confidence, so a phased implementation will help ensure the change is relatively simple and easy.”
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government would lead the nation by implementing reforms called for under successive industry reviews.
“Under the new model, head contractors will set up a trust account for each project and a retention trust account for all cash retentions held,” he said.
“Only Labor is prepared to stand with tradies and Queensland businesses against the big developers.”