LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
REGARDING Bill Hoffman’s opinion article (Daily, January 25).
Contrary to what he says, Master Builders Queensland has been working tirelessly with the industry and the government on a range of solutions to what is undoubtedly the biggest issue to face our industry ever – and one that has been ongoing for many years.
Unfortunately, the lobbying by a vocal few, who have advocated for a solution that increases legislation and introduces Project Bank Accounts (on the notion that they will secure subbies money and ensure they are paid in full, on time, every time), is simplistic and unrealistic.
Project Bank Accounts and these shortsighted views sound reasonable on the surface and are good for a short media grab.
However, if you look a little deeper, the inadequacies of such systems for what is a highly complex industry currently enduring a time of business financial stress, are obvious to the quiet majority.
Although it’s by no means a silver or magic bullet, there is only one thing that will begin to address the issue of slow and non-payment in the industry – and that is education.
The downside is that education and professional development won’t produce overnight miracles or fix a massive and inherent problem during an election cycle.
This makes them very unattractive to politicians looking to win elections, but a good idea to keep working on with the view to considering down the track.
So why are we calling for education rather than another few hundred pages of legislation and a set of Project Bank Accounts? It’s pretty simple.
Most builders, subbies and tradies joined the industry because of their specialised technical disciplines and love of the building craft, not because of their experience with, or desire to run a business.
Taking on the running of what is an increasingly complex business, in a highly regulated industry, was not necessarily front of mind when they were apprentices.
The reality is that as an industry, we have dropped the ball when it comes to preparing our young apprentices and tradies to run their own business.
And it is becoming increasingly evident that unless we change the system and teach our best tradespeople to become better business operators, no amount of regulation is going to fix this issue.
It’s not really all that surprising that the average “mum and dad” construction contractor is not completely across the thousands of pages of regulation at both a state and federal level.
Note; these clowns have had decades to educate their builders, the only thing they have learn't is how to rip off subbies.