The McGowan Government will introduce the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Bill 2021 into State Parliament today.
This Bill improves security of payment across the Western Australian building and construction industry, complementing measures already delivered through the expanded use of Project Bank Accounts on government projects.
The Bill introduces a mandatory retention trust scheme to protect subcontractors’ retention money from being misappropriated or lost altogether in insolvency at each level of the contracting chain.
In addition to the retention trust scheme, the Bill provides an effective, rapid dispute resolution process to speed up the receipt of outstanding payments, including provisions for minimum monthly progress payments, to ensure subcontractors are not left with large outstanding invoices.
This will improve the likelihood that contractors will have already been paid up in the event of an upstream insolvency and provide an effective dispute resolution process.
The Bill will also address registered building contractors with a history of ripping off subcontractors or who engage in ‘phoenixing’ activity, and will see these unscrupulous operators removed from the industry.
As stated by Commerce Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The McGowan Government has reintroduced our Security of Payment Bill as a priority and I call on the Liberal National opposition not to delay its passage through the Parliament.
“This Bill improves security of payment across the WA building and construction industry and complements measures already delivered through the expanded use of Project Bank Accounts on government projects.
“The Bill provides protections we committed to introducing, but were unable to enact due to the Liberal and National parties’ efforts in delaying and obstructing the McGowan Government’s legislative agenda during our first term.
“The previous Liberal National Government did nothing in eight and a half years of government to support subcontractors and when these parties had the opportunity to work with the McGowan Government to pass this important legislation just last year, they failed.”