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Legislation proposed to protect subcontractors in construction industry

Posted On September 22, 2016

The Liberal National Government has brought in legislation to State Parliament that will aim to protect payments for subcontractors involved in the construction industry.

The Construction Contracts Amendment Bill 2016 aims to improve the operation of the Construction Contracts Act 2004.

The Construction Contracts Act 2004 currently can be utilised by subcontractors to help with contractual payment disputes, with rights granted for subcontractors and suppliers to be paid within ‘a reasonable period of time’

The Amendment aims to further enhance the Construction Contracts Act, providing access to a quick and ttimely adjudication process that will settle construction payment disputes.

Small Business Minister Sean L'Estrange spoke of the proposed changes.“The non-payment and late payment of subcontractors, many of which are small businesses, is being addressed by the State Government,"

"This legislation will also be complemented by a Code of Conduct for contractors and the establishment of a compliance unit within the Department of Commerce to monitor compliance with the code.  Other measures include the Small Business Commissioner having expanded power to review and mediate disputes between contractors and subcontractors.

"Plus, from September 30, 2016, the Government is rolling out Project Bank Accounts across Building Management and Works construction projects valued at more than $1.5 million to speed up the payment process for businesses working on these projects and enable subcontractors to better protect themselves in the event that a head contractor experiences financial difficulty."

Some of the proposed changes are:

  • The reduction of the maximum time in which contractors can pay subcontractor payment claims to 30 calendar days
  • increasing the time in which an application for rapid adjudication of a payment dispute can be lodged by a subcontractor to 90 business days

Claims that have been rejected or disputed in the past will be able to be resubmitted under the new process.

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4-5 March 2020

Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
Perth, WA

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