Amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payment Act timeframes and procedures commence TODAY, 15 December 2014.

The amended Act applies to existing contracts

Last-minute changes to the transitional arrangements mean that the amended timeframes and procedures will now apply to BCIPA payment claims made in connection with existing contracts.

When the amending legislation was originally passed, the new regime was to apply only to contracts entered into after the commencement date.

How these changes affect your existing construction contracts

The amended timeframes and procedures apply to existing contracts in the following way:

  • if a payment claim has been made before the commencement date and there are outstanding steps relating to that claim (eg. payment schedule, referral to adjudication, adjudication response etc), the timeframes of the unamended Act will apply to those outstanding steps; and
  • all payment claims made from the commencement date are to be dealt with in accordance with the timeframes and procedures of the amended Act.

Importantly, the new definition of "business day", which excludes the Christmas holiday period from 22 December to 10 January, applies immediately to all steps in the payment claims process, regardless of when the payment claim was made. With limited exception, the administrative functions previously performed by ANAs are also handled by the QBCC's Adjudication Registrar from today.

The revised transitional arrangements mean:

  • that claimants and respondents must be ready for the changes from day one; and
  • an outstanding step that might have had to be performed by a date falling between 22 and 24 December 2014, will now not have to performed until after 10 January 2015.