Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni have met with subbies in Caloundra to discuss landmark building industry fairness reforms as part of the Governing from the Sunshine Coast program.
The reforms are helping ensure everyone in the building industry is paid on time, in full, every time.
A Special Joint Taskforce was also announced by the Premier recently which is digging deeper into allegations of white-collar crime in the Queensland building industry.
The Premier said her government had acted to fix a system broken under the LNP government when they removed mandatory financial reporting for the big end of town.
“The changes to financial self-reporting opened the door to abhorrent practices in the industry,” the Premier said.
“We’ve heard the stories of hardship, we’ve listened, and we’ve acted to address these issues.
“Justice John Byrne and his taskforce team officially start their important work on 27 March but the fact he’s already listening to subcontractors shows how serious he is about the job at hand.”
The Premier also said a major milestone had been achieved – the 100th construction contract with built-in subcontractor payment protections.
“This $5 million contract for a new two-storey building at Kawana Waters State is one of $406 million in government construction contracts since the Project Bank Account system was introduced on 1 March last year,” she said.
“Project Bank Accounts are part of a suite of building industry fairness measures helping to ensure everyone in the building industry is paid on time, in full, every time.
“We’ve come a long way since we began applying this trust account regime to all government building projects valued at between $1 million and $10 million.
“Contracts with built-in payment protections have been awarded for new government housing, fire and rescue facilities, police and ambulance stations, as well as for upgrades to hospitals and schools.”
Minister de Brenni said only Labor is taking action right now in Queensland to ensure dodgy construction company directors are held to account for their crimes.
“Subbies know it was Tim Mander and his LNP lackeys that opened the floodgates to dodgy financial practices in the building industry,” he said.
“Also, Bill Shorten must be congratulated for his commitment to combatting pheonixing in the construction industry and for supporting subbies to fight for their entitlements.
“Only a Labor government in Canberra will introduce project bank accounts for Commonwealth projects and give the Australian Securities and Investment Commission the additional resources it needs to really throw the book at them.”
Mr de Brenni is expecting an independent evaluation of the implementation of the PBA system by the end of the month to determine how they can be extended to the private sector.