The long-awaited changes to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA) commenced on 15 December 2014, dramatically altering the landscape for payment claims and adjudications in Queensland.

A number of significant changes have been implemented.

Importantly, there is a new regime for the categorisation of payment claims. Payment claims for less than $750,000 (excluding GST) are categorised as ‘standard’ payment claims, which a respondent must respond to within 10 business days or the time required under the construction contract.

Where the claim is for over $750,000 (excluding GST) it will be categorised as a ‘complex’ payment claim and the respondent will have an extended time to respond (either 15 business days, 30 business days or the time required under the construction contract – depending on the provisions of the contract and when the payment claim was served).

The BCIPA changes also make provision for longer adjudication timeframes for ‘complex’ claims.

Other important changes include the following:

  • Adjudication applications will now need to be submitted to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The QBCC is now the central administering body for adjudications in Queensland.
  • The period 22 December to 10 January has been excluded from the definition of ‘business day’ to accommodate the industry-wide slowdown over the Christmas period.
  • The time frame for submission of payment claims has been reduced from 12 months to 6 months unless the construction contract provides otherwise (although the 12 month time frame will continue to apply until 15 June 2015 if the relevant construction contract was entered into before 15 December 2014).

The changes to BCIPA include some potentially complicated transitional provisions that apply to construction contracts and payment claims in place before 15 December 2014. If you are a claimant or respondent in this situation you should give careful consideration to how (and if) the amended version of BCIPA applies to you.

Other participants in the industry should also familiarise themselves with the new requirements to ensure their rights are protected in relation to future progress claims.