The Queensland Parliament yesterday passed the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017. There were a substantial number of amendments made to the original Bill to take account of feedback received during the Committee stage and deal with drafting issues. These included the introduction of a mandatory review of the reforms by 1 September 2018. However the broad approach of the legislation remains untouched.

The trial of Project Bank Accounts under Chapter 2 of the Act for government building contracts between $1 and $10 million is expected to commence on 1 January 2018.

The commencement dates for the changes to the BCIPA regime and Subcontractors' Charges are yet to be announced. Notably, the reformed BCIPA regime will apply to payment claims made after its commencement, meaning that existing construction contracts will become subject to that regime. Given the abolition of the second chance for delivery of payment schedules and also the removal of the ability to include new reasons in adjudication responses to complex claims, it is critical that recipients of payment claims are able to quickly adapt to the changed regime.

That means:

  • getting familiar with the changes being introduced;
  • considering contract terms and processes to deal with the introduction of the PBA; and
  • reviewing processes in light of the changes to the payment claim and adjudication scheme.