Construction industry. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
BILL HOFFMAN, email@example.com Feb 2020 5:00 AM
THE State Government says an industry-wide implementation of Project Trust Accounts will strengthen its record of job creation and help ensure subcontract tradies are paid in full, on time.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni will today introduce to parliament new Building Industry Fairness legislation.
Mr de Brenni said it was aimed at putting an end to rorting of a system plagued by power imbalance in the contractual chain.
He said the Queensland Building and Construction Commission would have oversight of the trust accounts and increased power to prosecute anyone who caused a financial loss by not complying with contractual obligations.
“The building and construction industry is worth around $46 billion annually to the Queensland economy and employs around 240,000 people,” he said.
The legislation comes as more than 300 subcontractors and trade suppliers, including those who worked on projects for Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie councils were left unpaid more than $3.6 million by the collapse of Ri-Con Contractors Pty Ltd two weeks ago.
“The Palaszczuk Government knows that there is dignity in work, and that there is no dignity in being left unpaid,” Mr de Brenni said.
“For too long, the scale has been tipped to leave subbies, tradies and their families shouldering financial responsibility of because of dodgy developers who don’t pay.
“Our Building Industry Fairness Bill puts an end to this rorting of the system in Queensland.
“Since coming to government Labor has created 235,000 jobs, and already Project Bank Accounts have seen $803 million paid to Queensland tradies in full, on time, every time.”
Mr de Brenni said a review of the first phase of Project Bank Accounts by an independent panel had led to a more simplified Project Trust model.
“In the Palaszczuk Government’s first term we passed laws which were effectively a trial, the independent panel vindicates our commitment to lead the nation on this issue.
“At its core our laws deliver our agenda to ensure tradies are paid in full, on time, every time, but we’ve made it simpler now.”
Mr de Brenni said project and retention trust accounts would be introduced in four phases, starting in July this year, so that by July 2022 Project Trusts would be required on all projects valued at over $1 million in Queensland.
“When we introduced the Building Industry Fairness Act in August 2017, we made it clear we were going to clean up the industry and its payments system that left the tradies at the bottom – the ones getting their hands dirty – out in the cold when the money ran out,” Mr de Brenni said.