STATE GOVERNMENT MOVES ON PROJECT BANK ACCOUNTS

The Queensland Government has released it response to the recommendations of two independent reports into its building industry fairness reforms: the Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel and the Special Joint Taskforce.

All the recommendations from these reports have been accepted by the Government.

The new timeframe for the roll-out of the reforms will be:

  • 1 July 2020: Application to all Government building projects above $1m, including Health and Hospital Services
  • 1 July 2021: Application to all building projects in Queensland above $10m
  • 1 January 2022: Application to all building projects above $3m
  • 1 July 2022: Application to all building projects above $1m

Other changes to be undertaken to the PBA model include:

  • Removal of the requirement for a disputed funds trust account as part of the PBA framework (a Property Council recommendation)
  • Replacement of the requirement for a retention trust account as part of a PBA, with a requirement to create a retention trust account by all contractors and any private sector principals that are withholding cash retentions
  • Providing subcontractors with the ability to give a payment withholding request to the project principal if they are holding cash retentions.
  • Removal of the ability of a principal to replace the head contractor as trustee of the PBA on insolvency or termination of the contract.

The Property Council had provided submissions to the reviews, outlining a blueprint to simplify and improve the proposed Project Bank Account model.

Further information on the reforms can be found on the Department's website.

The Property Council will continue to engage with the Government as these legislative amendments are further developed.