Two of Queensland’s leading specialist trade contractor associations, Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) and the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA), have commended the Queensland Government’s delivery on its election commitment to bring security of payment for the 240,000 Queenslanders who work in the State’s building and construction industry.
With many businesses facing the uncertainty of global economic struggles following the impact of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that tradies get paid for the work that they do.
“Finally, the subcontractors will be treated fairly and get paid on time and in full. We would not expect a nurse to work seven shifts and only get paid for three, but this is what has been happening to hardworking tradies every day in Queensland,” MPAQ Executive Director, Penny Cornah, said.
“There is not a single plumber in Queensland that has not experienced non-payment or extreme late payment on money owed for work done. This legislation, which has created a simplified Project Bank Account framework, now called Trust Accounts, has been implemented.”
Ms Cornah said that this $267 million stimulus for the construction industry, announced on Wednesday 15 July 2020, is an important and positive step forward that will benefit tradies’ businesses and create a security that will extend into their personal lives, particularly in these uncertain times.
NFIA CEO, Glen Chatterton, stated “NFIA and MPAQ commends the government for taking our feedback on board and delivering this reform, which will make a positive impact on our industry as a whole.”
“What has been a significant annual financial burden across our country will hopefully now be significantly reduced. It is not too much to ask that people should get paid for the work they have already completed and done well,” Mr Chatterton stated.
The addition to the Building Industry Fairness Act delivers:
- A simplified Project Bank Account framework, now called Trust Accounts;
- Greater prosecuting powers to the QBCC to investigate false statutory declarations;
- More ways for builders to recoup monies owed, including charges on land and payment withholding requests on financiers;
- Greater transparency of the certification process to increase consumer confidence;
- More effective regulatory powers for the Boards of architects and engineers, improving confidence in the standards of safety and quality of the built environment; and
- A statutory review into the role of property developers, including their workplace practices, in the construction industry.
Over $1 billion in government contracts have already been awarded with built-in payment protections enhancing payment security for thousands of Queensland jobs.
The Project Trust Account system will be progressively extended across Queensland’s $46 billion construction sector from March 2021, while other protections will commence this year.
MPAQ and NFIA will continue to work with decision-makers to ensure the continued best possible outcomes for the industry.