BIF - it’s not just Project Bank Accounts!

If you are involved in the building and construction industry in Queensland, unless you’ve been living on a deserted island or under a rock, you would be aware that there are BIG changes (both good and bad!!) happening in the industry at the moment, due to the enactment of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (the BIF Act).

From 1 March 2018 the new Project Bank Accounts regime will apply to all tenders for Government work between $1 million and $10 million.  This means that (so called) Project Bank Account contracts (PBA contracts) will become a reality in about mid May 2018, once the usual tendering process results in contracts being actually awarded.

Very importantly … subcontractors to the head contractors who are performing Government work under PBA contracts, will be caught up in the Project Bank Accounts regime.  It is vital that those subcontractors know how Project Bank Accounts work.

BUT … the changes which the BIF Act will impose on the industry in Queensland are far more wide ranging than just Project Bank Accounts.

Commencing on 1 June 2018 (probably?), Chapter 3 and 4 of the BIF Act will replace two long standing pieces of legislation within the Queensland building and construction industry, namely:-

  1. the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004; and
  2. the Subcontractors Charges Act.

These changes are far more important than Project Bank Accounts … because they impact upon the whole of the building and construction industry in Queensland and they contain significant penalties (including, in some instances, jail time) and may result in QBCC disciplinary action if you don’t comply with the new legislation.

We are greatly concerned that so many participants in the building and construction industry (and their advisors) think that the changes which the BIF Act will introduce are limited to Project Bank Accounts and/or Government work between $1 million and $10 million.

The most significant changes are in Chapter 3 (in relation to payment claims) and Chapter 4 (in relation to subcontractor’s charges) … and those changes affect the whole of the industry.Whether you are a builder or a subcontractor or a supplier to the industry, you need to understand how the changes impact upon your business.

Brendan Bathersby has been closely following the changes which the BIF Act will impose and involved in industry consideration of those changes.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact Brendan on (07) 5443 4866 or email brendanb@gwlaw.com.au.

Brendan Bathersby

Partner

(07) 5443 4866

brendanb@gwlaw.com.au

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