Introduction

The Queensland Government has released its Ten Point Action Plan to reform regulation of the Queensland construction industry. Key changes include establishing the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to replace the Queensland Building Services Authority (QBSA). The Plan also raises the possibility of introducing rapid domestic adjudication claims, after industry consultation. 

The Ten Point Action Plan responds to the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Operation and Performance of the Queensland Building Services Authority.

Immediate changes

The QBCC will be established by the end of 2013, with a new Commissioner and governing board. This will replace the QBSA which has regulated standards, certifications, defective works, and dispute resolution in the construction industry since 1991.

The governing board will develop the structure of the QBCC, and will appoint the Commissioner. The board will report to the Minister for Housing and Public Works.

'As soon as practicable' changes

Once established, the QBCC will:

  • develop a framework for undertaking routine checks for compliance with building standards and codes;
  • develop a regulated penalty system where illegal or defective works have been approved outside standards;
  • review the demerit points system and penalties;
  • review the licensing system, including clarification of what constitutes unlicensed building work under the QBSA Act 1991 (Qld); 
  •  review the current suite of domestic building contracts; and
  • establish an internal review unit, and procedures for reviewing insurance decisions and homeowner complaints, to reduce the number of applications made to the Qld Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The QBCC will also continue the QBSA’s role in overseeing the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, and have a dispute resolution function.

Matters for further review

The QBSA currently administers the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIP Act). The BCIPA Act was considered during the consultation and review process. The BCIPA Act is being separately reviewed by the Queensland Government, and will be the subject of further industry consultation before recommendations are made. This includes a consideration of a rapid domestic adjudication model to fast track domestic construction disputes with set response timelines.

The security of retention monies has also been highlighted as an issue. Similarly, further consultation with the construction industry and consumers will occur.

The role of the private certifier will be reviewed, focussing on probity, conflicts of interest, quality, and a penalty regime for failure to perform.

All initiatives are expected to be completed within 12 months of establishing the QBCC  and appointing the governing Board.

Watch this space!

Key points/summary of impacts

  • the QBSA will be replaced by a QBCC by the end of 2013.
  • further review and industry consultation will occur of the Building Payments Act 2004 (QLD) and security of retention monies.
  • the role of the private certifier will also be reviewed, including penalty regimes.

Further information

The Ten Point Action Plan is available at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2013/5413T2705.pdf