As discussed in our previous alerts (see here), there have been significant amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIP Act). 

As reported first by Thomson Geer on 9 December, the amendments to the BCIP Act commence today, 15 December 2014.  Importantly, all adjudication applications on and from today must be made to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

Summary of the changes

A summary of the changes is as follows:

'Standard' v 'complex' payment claims

There is now a distinction between 'standard' and 'complex' payment claims. A 'standard' claim will be any claim up to $750,000 (excluding GST). A 'complex' claim will be any claim in excess of $750,000 (excluding GST). There are longer time limits for payment schedules, adjudication responses and adjudication decisions in respect of complex payment claims.

Amendments to the timeframes

The timeframes for preparing adjudication responses have been increased to at least 10 business days for standard payment claims and 15 business days for complex payment claims. Respondents may also apply for further time up to an additional 15 business days for complex payment claims, however any application for additional time must be made within 5 business days after receipt of the adjudication application.

Removal of ability to seek summary judgement without prior notice

Previously, if a respondent failed to provide a payment schedule, the BCIP Act allowed the claimant to apply for summary judgment of the payment claim without further notice to the respondent. Claimants must now provide respondents with a further opportunity to provide a payment schedule before applying for summary judgment

Amendments to the definition of 'business day'

The definition of 'business day' now excludes the period between 22 December and 10 January.

Adjudication applications must be made to the QBCC

The QBCC now receives and administers all adjudication applications in Queensland. Claimants cannot make adjudication applications to Adjudicate Today, IAMA, RICS, ABC DRS, Australian Solutions Centre, LEADR or the Queensland Law Society.

Claimants must now lodge adjudication applications with the QBCC, either electronically or at a QBCC service centre within QBCC business hours.  

Adjudication applications must be in the approved form, and be accompanied with the applicable fee.