Unfinished business

There is still much to do to fix the waves of legislation that have tied the industry up in red tape and added significant extra costs.

Shake-up the QBCC so that they wield their sweeping powers fairly and consistently.

  • Improve QBCC Board conduct and processes by bringing in more industry experience.
  • Bring back ‘requests to rectify’.
  • Take direct action against subcontractors for defective building work.
  • Give builders the opportunity to rectify a defect if the internal review reverses the first decision.
  • Don’t pursue a Home Warranty Insurance debt where a contractor has not been issued a direction.

Fix the reforms done in the name of security of payment.

  • Scrap the plan to introduce Project Trust Accounts into the private sector from January 2022.
  • Ditch Project Trust Accounts in the government sector.
  • Introduce cascading Retention Trust Accounts for head contracts over $1 million.
  • Require all payment claims under Chapter 3 of the Building Industry Fairness Act to state that it is a statutory payment claim to protect claimants’ rights.
  • Ensure that all parties in the supply chain (developers/ owners through to suppliers) are covered by the reforms.
  • Implement a comprehensive payments dispute system that can address defective work and non-payment without the need for court action.
  • In the meantime, ease the burden for contractors under the current system (fix the system of payment claims and payment schedules; builders can access subcontractor retentions in trust accounts for defective work; introduce a minimum subcontract value of $20k and a minimum payment of $3k for trust accounts).
  • Amend the Minimum Financial Requirements to reduce the reporting burden on the SC1 and SC2 categories; and ensure that cancelling contractors’ licences is a last resort.

Scrap impractical tender processes.

  • Replace the Best Practice Principles, Ethical Supplier Mandate and Ethical Supplier Threshold in the government’s procurement policy with a process for assessing the performance of all suppliers.
  • Ensure the government’s procurement policy is applied to all state government agencies and authorities.
  • Allow practical amendments in the regions to the 10% training requirement for apprentices, indigenous and female workers on government jobs.

Building rules that safeguard building quality and enable efficient construction.

  • Introduce an industry-wide, mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme, including a New Builder Program to raise the bar for new residential builders.
  • Introduce a mandatory, state-wide Housing Code.
  • Raise the maximum deposit for domestic building projects to 7.5% to ensure the money is available upfront to get the job right.
  • Determine workable options for funding the rectification of buildings with combustible cladding.

Strike a balance in the workplace safety rules between enforcement and engagement.

  • Manage silica in construction through practical controls that reflect the scale and nature of the risk.
  • Develop a single portal for notifying safety incidents to the QBCC and WHSQ.

Fair workplace rules that are properly enforced.

  • Require all union officials to hold a Federal entry permit.
  • Labour hire rules don’t extend to construction work.

Advocacy Focus 2021

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