Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni said that maintaining confidence in Queensland’s $46 billion a year industry was paramount in the wake of concerns raised over the structural integrity of NSW high rise apartment development, Opal.

“A strong industry, employing hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders is vitally important,” Mr de Brenni said. “But so is the safety of Queenslanders, which is a top priority of the Palaszczuk Government.”

Mr de Brenni said that whilst questions have been raised about the builder and certifier in the Opal case, it is the whole system that needs attention.

“The building and construction industry in Australia has seen decades of deregulation, largely in the pursuit of productivity.

“That has created a race to the bottom  and as a result, confidence in the building integrity system has been undermined.”

Mr de Brenni said that through collaboration with industry, sweeping reforms were being methodically implemented in Queensland to restore confidence.

In 2016  the Palaszczuk Government commenced a comprehensive examination of the building and construction regulatory system with a focus to ensure Queenslanders have the utmost confidence in our built environment.

Then, in 2017,  the Palaszczuk Government published the Queensland Building Plan (QBP).

The QBP sets out a reform program across the building and construction industry covering everything from building product safety, through to security of payments and the important issue of building certification.

“Queensland is much  further down the path of restoring effective regulation and oversight within the construction industry than other states, including the introduction of nation leading non-conforming building product laws to ensure the safety of Queenslanders.

“2019 will see a continuation of the implementation of the QBP reforms, and reform to building certification is a key step for 2019.

During 2019  the Palaszczuk Government will be advancing several reforms that will strengthen independence and improve professional standards and compliance of certifiers.

“We will enhance the regulatory oversight for certifiers including making improvements to the disciplinary framework, we will end the practice of builders being able to shop around during a project to get the answers that suit them and ensure that the sector has a highly trained and skilled workforce.

“The Palaszczuk Government reforms will improve accountability and processes in the certification sector and restore consumer confidence.

Mr de Brenni said the QBP reforms put Queensland in a strong position following the findings of the Shergold Weir

Report, commissioned by building Ministers nationally in 2017.

“Queensland had adopted all the recommendations in the report, noting that in most cases our standards were already at or above those proposed in the report, and where there are gaps, these are identified and will be rectified through the implementation of the QBP in 2019.

The Queensland Building Plan also furnished the QBCC with new powers of investigation to ensure industry regulations are being properly complied with.

The QBCC will use these new powers to consider the activities of the builder and certifier in the Opal case.

“Queenslanders deserve to expect their buildings are safe and secure and built to required standards with products that are fit for purpose, this is why I have also asked the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to use its new powers to look into the activities of the Opal builder and certifier in Queensland.

Mr de Brenni said no government projects involved the builder in question in the Opal case.

The QBCC is continually monitoring building activity around the state and conducts regular audits of building sites. During the last financial year, they inspected approximately 5,820  sites and issued 827 Directions to Rectify.

The QBCC takes swift action should building defects be identified, and licensees must comply with a direction to rectify otherwise they face financial and disciplinary penalties.

The Commission also investigates compliance with the Building Act, which governs certifiers and the National Construction Code, which regulates the standard of buildings.

In addition, the Government has established a Board of Engineers and Architects, both of which conduct investigations into the professional conduct of those occupations.

Details of investigations are presented in each of the authorities’ annual reports.

“Prevention is far better than cure, so the QBCC can now take proactive steps to identify any areas of concern here in our State.”

Mr de Brenni said the issue of regulatory standards, the responsibilities of State and Territories needed a high level of attention in each jurisdiction to ensure a robust national system.

“At the next Building Ministers’ Forum  due in February, I will demand the federal government and all states and territories ensure they are meeting the high standards Queensland has set.”

Media: 0427  018 178


Sunday, 30 December 2018

Home  owners will be  better  protected from dodgy  certifiers under  the  NSW Government’s zero tolerance approach to the cowboys in the industry.

Minister for Better  Regulation Matt Kean  revealed a four point strategy, that  builds on recent legislation and  strong penalties, in an effort to fix Labor’s bungled privatisation of certifiers.

“There  has been growing  community  concern about  dodgy certifiers  and,  while  the cause of the  recent problems at the  Opal Tower  remains unknown,  what’s happened there  has put a spotlight on the industry again,” Mr Kean  said.

“Make  no mistake  – the  problems  in  the  certification  industry  were  created by Labor with the botched privatisation leaving the industry open  to  cowboys and  shonks who have  cast a shadow on the entire profession.”

“The majority of certifiers are  doing the right thing, but it’s time for the cowboys to go.” Mr Kean said it was unacceptable for certifiers to sign off on buildings that aren’t fit to live in, aren’t up to standard and  aren’t what hardworking mums and  dads paid for.

“We have  been working hard  to clean up Labor’s mess and  this plan is another step towards doing that, in addition to the other reforms that we have  made,” Mr Kean said.

The four point plan to improve the certification industry includes:

  • The biggest compliance operation in the  industry’s history, with 25-30%  of the industry to be audited every year in a strike force style approach;
  • A zero tolerance approach to  dodgy certifiers, including a  new  disciplinary policy   that   will   see  certifiers   immediately   kicked   out   of  the   industry   for corruption or negligently signing off on a building which is unsafe or structurally unsound;
  • Better protection for  strata buildings, with  certifiers  unable  to work on  new strata developments if they  have  breached the  code  of conduct in any  way, in the previous 12 months, regarding building quality; and
  • Increased transparency, which will include more information for homeowners about  a certifier’s disciplinary record,  on an enhanced name and shame register. Prospective buyers of off the plan developments will be provided with information about  a certifier’s history.

Mr Kean  said this strategy followed several measures and  tougher penalties that have already been introduced.

“In October this year,  I completed the first step in cleaning up the industry by passing new laws to mandate a code  of conduct for certifiers, crack down on conflicts of interest and  give Fair Trading the powers to get to the bottom of complaints,” Mr Kean said.

“There are  tougher penalties, including fines of up to $1.1  million and/or  two years jail for certifiers who issue false or misleading certificates and  I also released an  options paper on further steps to protect  home  owners.”

Minister for Planning & Housing and Special Minister of State Anthony Roberts said the Government  remains  vigilant  monitoring  the  situation  at  Opal  Tower,  and   its  first concern is for affected residents.

“Our investigators are still on site conducting their own independent assessment of the cause of the fault and  we expect more updates from them  soon.” Mr Roberts said.

“We’ll continue to be in contact with the developer of the site to ensure legal obligations to the residents are fulfilled and we will crackdown harshly on any failures in that regard.

“It is still too early to say what exactly caused the problem at Opal Tower but this announcement by colleague Minister Kean  today,  and  this Government’s track record on dealing with serious issues in the planning and housing regime in recent years show we’re ready  for anything.”

MEDIA: Richard Hodge | Minister Kean | 0428 952 161

John Macgowan | Minister Roberts | 0409 403 773



On 10 November 2017, the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) introduced a suite of reforms to ensure Queenslanders who work in our building and construction industry are paid for the work they do. On 11 September 2018, amendments to clarify some of the provisions under these reforms commenced.
Reforms relating to progress payments, adjudication and subcontractors’ charges will commence on 17 December 2018. When the reforms commence, they will replace the existing Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) and Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974.

Progress payments

The progress payment reforms will result in the following changes:

  • payment claims will not have to include specific wording indicating they are made under the legislation. An invoice will be considered a payment claim as long as it sets out the amount claimed, and the construction work (or related goods and services) it relates to.
  • a payment schedule must be issued in response to every payment claim, unless the full amount of the payment claim is paid by the due date. The payment schedule must be issued within 15 business days (or earlier if provided in the contract) after the payment claim has been provided.
  • a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units may apply for not supplying a payment schedule where a claim is not paid in full by the due date.


A range of changes will apply to the adjudication process including:

  • new application timeframes of up to 30 business days
  • if a payment schedule is not issued, a respondent cannot issue any response to an adjudication application
  • should an adjudication decision require a payment to be made, this must be paid within five business days or another date set by an adjudicator. A maximum penalty of 200 penalty units may apply for failing to pay the adjudicated amount.
  • in deciding the proportion of an adjudicator’s fees to be paid by both parties, the adjudicator must consider the conduct of both parties to the adjudication
  • the Adjudication Registry will automatically issue a certificate to claimants for all adjudication decisions.

Subcontractors charges

The reforms to subcontractors’ charges include:

  • modernised and simplified legislative provisions
  • new, simplified forms to be available on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website by 17 December 2018
  • when a subcontractor provides a notice of claim of charge, the contractor receiving the notice must respond to the subcontractor (and give notice to the person higher in the contractual chain) within 10 business days of receiving the notice of claim. The response is to advise if the contractor agrees with or disputes the claim. A maximum penalty of 20 penalty units may apply.

Defects liability period notice

The BIF Act will also make changes to the QBCC Act in relation to requirements for retention monies or security held under a building contract. The QBCC Act already provides some requirements however these will be strengthened.
The BIF Act will introduce:

  • a statutory default defects liability period of 12 months from the date of practical completion where a contract does not provide for a defects liability period
  • a requirement for the person (excluding principals) withholding a retention under a building contract to notify the person they are withholding the retention from within 10 business days of the defects liability period ending (five business days under a higher subcontract)1
  • significant penalties for not paying a retention or security to a contractor, where it has been withheld without a reasonable excuse, at the end of the defects liability period. A maximum penalty of 200 penalty units or one year’s imprisonment may apply.

Further Information

For more information refer to the HPW website, the QBCC website and the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017.
If you have any questions regarding the security of payment reforms, please email SecurityofPayment@hpw.qld.gov.au.


The Liberal National Government has welcomed a report urging the Western Australian Government to adopt key recommendations to ensure subcontractors working in the state’s construction industry feel more confident about being paid on time.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the report from John Fiocco, which recognises the need for greater national consistency and urges WA to implement recommendations of the Liberal National Government’s Review of Security of Payment Laws.

“This is a significant win for Western Australian subcontractors who have been calling for access to the same rights and protections under security of payment laws as their eastern-state counterparts,” Minister Andrews said.

“Getting paid on time is fundamental to the many subcontractors that make up our construction industry and the Fiocco Report recommends Western Australia’s security of payment laws be made consistent with the ‘East Coast model’, which is based on NSW legislation.

“Current Western Australian and Northern Territory security of payment regimes have been fundamentally different to those in the rest of the country, to the detriment of subcontractors.”

Conducted by John Murray AM, the national review made 86 recommendations to improve protections for small businesses and address the high insolvency rates in the construction industry.

“The Murray Review provides a blueprint to improve protections and consistency in security of payment regimes across the country and I encourage other jurisdictions to follow the lead of Western Australia and NSW in adopting its recommendations,” Minister Andrews said.

The WA Government has announced it will carefully consider each recommendation of the Fiocco Report, and expects to introduce legislative reforms in the first half of 2019.

The NSW Government recently moved to adopt a number of Mr Murray’s recommendations, passing legislation through the NSW Parliament in November.

The Liberal National Government will continue to work with all jurisdictions through the Building Ministers’ Forum to respond to the Murray Review and deliver improvements in performance and consistency of security of payment regimes.

Media Contact: Valeria Cheglov 0438 494 351 / Keegan Buzza 0447 697 846

Office of the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Member for McPherson, Varsity Lakes, QLD


The Coalition Government is strengthening the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) with $3.7 million over four years from 2019-20 in additional funding and resources to boost its ability to enforce the rule of law on building and construction sites.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said that since it was re-established, the ABCC has received over 470 complaints and carried out 355 investigations.

“The Coalition Government is committed to addressing the lawlessness, thuggery and intimidation in the building and construction industry,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

The construction industry is our second largest contributor to GDP and provides jobs for almost one in 10 Australian workers, with many of these jobs found in the small businesses that make up 99 per cent of the industry.

“Most of these small businesses are at the bottom of the contracting supply chain, making them particularly vulnerable to the lawless behaviour of militant unions and poor treatment by the large construction companies.”

“This additional funding means more inspectors and investigators for the ABCC to support small businesses and sub-contractors when head-contractors unlawfully withhold payment.”

The ABCC also plays a key role in safeguarding workers’ entitlements. Since being re-established, more than $450,000 has been returned to employees following ABCC intervention.

“This additional funding will allow for more frontline investigators to make sure that workers are receiving all their wages and entitlements correctly. It will also help small businesses in the industry to understand their obligations.”

The additional funding will also allow the ABCC to employ more frontline inspectors in Queensland, where work sites are being subjected to increasingly militant, law-breaking behaviour.

“The ABCC ensures that work on construction sites is carried out fairly, efficiently, safely and productively for the benefit of workers, businesses and the Australian economy,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.

To date more than $20 million in penalties has been awarded in cases brought by ABCC and its predecessors against the CFMMEU, other building industry unions and employers.

Media contacts: Lachlan McNaughton 0433 642 145, Scott Barnes 0436 611 632

The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Melbourne


The Building Products Industry Council (BPIC) supports the recommendations by the Senate Inquiry into Non-Conforming Building Products Final Report. The report is a reflection of many of the industry’s concerns about nonconforming building products (NCBPs) and the demonstrable harm they are doing to the public and the sector.

“In the lead up to the federal election the public and the industry expect to see clear policy statements from the Liberals, Labor, the Greens and Independents that commit resources and effort to enacting the recommendations of this report,” says Rodger Hills the Executive Officer of BPIC. “Without such commitment, the work of the Senate Inquiry and the input from industry over the last 5 years will have been for nothing.”

The Senate Inquiry’s final report is the most comprehensive assessment of the problem to date by Government, but there has been little progress on the recommendations made in its three interim reports leading up to the final version.“With some of the Senate’s recommendations there has even been push-back by the federal government and dispute about their findings,” says Mr Hills. “This casual dismissal of such important national matters is unacceptable to both the voting public and the industry.”

The Senate Committee clearly had this dismissive attitude by government in mind when it stated in its report: “…the committee would encourage both the government and the Building Ministers’ Forum to increase the level of momentum in implementing these recommendations and, moreover, those recommendations that have been raised previously.”

With a federal election looming, BPIC believes it makes sense for all political parties and crossbenchers to clearly state their intentions regarding the findings of the Senate Inquiry into NCBPs. That way voters and the industry will be able to make informed decisions about which party and which individuals are going to act on the findings and fix these entrenched issues once and for all.

Media enquiries: Rodger Hills eo@bpic.asn.au

For more information about BPIC visit: www.bpic.asn.au


Labor Senator Chris Ketter has today tabled the Senate Economics References Committee Report into Non-conforming Building Products: The need for a coherent and robust regulatory regime.

The final report hands down thirteen recommendations around national consistency and regulation, better consultative and reporting mechanisms and border protection.

This inquiry has run over two Parliaments, during which time the committee has received 164 formal submissions and a number of supplementary submissions. There have been ten public hearings, in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide.

The final report follows interim reports in May 2016, September 2017 and November 2017 – the latter two drilling down on deadly flammable cladding and asbestos products respectively.

This report examines product issues found in electrical, lighting, windows and glazing, plumbing, engineered wood products, steel and Vinyl/PVC categories, as well as compliance issues raised in the Shergold-Weir report Building Confidence, commissioned by the Building Minister’s Forum.

This final report recommends that the Building Ministers’ Forum take urgent action to:

• Develop improved consultative mechanisms with industry stakeholders and introduce annual reporting requirements to address non-conforming building products (Recommendation 1);
• Expedite consideration of a mandatory third-party certification scheme for high-risk building products and a national register for these products (Recommendation 3); and
• Examine international approaches for testing of high-risk products prior to import (Recommendation 5).

In addition, the report recommends the Australian Government:

• Develop a confidential reporting mechanism on non-conforming building products for industry (Recommendation 2);
• Require sampling and testing by a NATA (or equivalent) accredited authority prior to importation of high-risk products to Australia (Recommendation 4);
• Work with state and territory governments on a national licensing scheme

(Recommendation 7);
• Consider imposing a penalties regime for non-compliance with the National Construction Code (Recommendation 11); and
• Consider making all Australian Standards freely available (Recommendation 8).

The final recommendation (Recommendation 13) urges the government to review the Customs Act 1901 (and other relevant legislation) to close loopholes and tighten enforcement action to address the continued importation of life-threatening asbestos to Australia.

Labor takes building safety seriously. That’s why a Shorten Labor Government has already committed to ban the importation, future sale and use of highly flammable polyethylene (PE) cladding; establish a national licencing scheme; and introduce a new penalties regime for all building practitioners who breach the National Construction Code.

Public safety is a fundamental responsibility of government and Australians have the right to feel safe in their built environment. The findings of this Labor-led inquiry have forced the government to act. But there is much more to be done.

It is time the Liberal National government stepped up to restore public accountability for public safety in the building industry.

Read the full report here.


Building on a high base, Australia’s leading construction companies are projecting further expansion in the value of major non- residential project work in 2018-19 and 2019-20, according to the latest Australian Industry Group/Australian Constructors Association Construction Outlook survey released today. However, the pace of growth is expected to moderate as total infrastructure investment moves closer to peak levels.

After lifting by 9.0% in 2017-18 (current prices), the total value of non-residential construction work is forecast to rise by 5.4% in 2018-19 and a further 3.8% in 2019-20.

The outlook also points to large falls in revenue from multi-level apartment work (expected to decline by 4.8% in 2018-19 followed by a sharp contraction of 17.6% in 2019-20) and oil and gas project activity (down 54.8% in 2018-19, but moderating markedly to -2.0% in 2019-20 with the worst of the decline in mining-related construction appearing to have passed).

Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said: “Major construction activity and employment levels look set to continue to grow over the next year and a half, largely off the back of the large volume of infrastructure work. This is despite sharply lower levels of engineering construction in the oil and gas sector; further easing of mining sector activity; and an accelerating slowdown in residential apartment building. While there are swings and roundabouts within the sector, capacity constraints at the aggregate level are intensifying. Businesses are reporting rising difficulties in sourcing skilled personnel and machinery and equipment and rising input costs. The sector would be further constrained if there were any additional restrictions to accessing temporary and permanent skilled migrants to supplement their local workforces,” Mr Willox said.

Australian Constructors Association (ACA) Executive Director, Lindsay Le Compte, said: “The pipelines of infrastructure projects projected in the Construction Outlook will assist the industry plan its future activities. The pivotal challenge for governments will be in ensuring that infrastructure projects are delivered as part of a consistent pipeline of construction activity. This will help address capacity constraints and enable major projects to be funded and developed in a timely manner.

“A clear theme from the survey is the widespread difficulties faced by businesses in the sourcing of skilled labour, building materials and equipment. These supply constraints are being reflected in increases in a range of input costs which are adding to pressures on margins and heightening the exposure of businesses and clients to project cost overruns,” Mr Le Compte said.

In other survey findings the value of engineering construction is expected to increase by 6.5% in 2018-19 and a further 8.0% in 2019-20, with conditions supported by a continuation of solid public- sector spending on transport infrastructure projects despite the further falls in mining and oil & gas work.

Commercial building activity (including offices, retail buildings and industrial premises) is poised for continued moderate growth over the next two years in line with rising private – and public-sector investment, increasing by 8.7% in 2018-19 and 6.3% in 2019-20 following an 8.2% increase in 2017-18.

• The latest Australian Industry Group/Australian Constructors Association Construction Outlook survey indicates that after lifting by 9.0% in 2017-18 (current prices), the total value of non-residential construction work is forecast to rise by 5.4% in 2018-19, and a further 3.8% in 2019-20.

• While the mining investment downturn remains a drag on industry conditions, its negative impact is diminishing as the decline in resources-related engineering construction is expected to have largely run its course by 2019-20, with the decline in construction on oil and gas processing projects to moderate markedly to -2.0% from -54.8% in 2018-19. A slight recovery in mining-related construction is also forecast to emerge in 2019-20 (+2.3%, up from -7.9% in 2018-19) as investment in new mine capacity lifts in response to improving commodity prices and a turnaround in exploration activity.

• Higher levels of infrastructure and commercial building work will support continued job gains across the industry, with total employment expected to rise by 3.8% from July-December 2018 and a further 4.4% over the six months to June 2019.

• Businesses are reporting widespread and increasing difficulties in sourcing skilled labour, with 69.2% of respondents reporting either ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ difficulty in the six months to September 2018 – up from 66.7% in the previous six months. Sourcing of sub-contractors also remained a key concern, with
57.8% experiencing ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ difficulty – although this was down from 66.7% in the previous six months.

• Labour cost pressures continue to be exerted in the construction of infrastructure and building projects and are expected to be sustained into 2019, with 57.7% of respondents expecting either ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ increases in direct labour rates in the six months to March 2019 and the same percentage expecting ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ pressure on sub- contractor rates.

• The sourcing of building materials remains a key concern for the industry, with 34.6% of respondents citing ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ difficulty in the six months to September 2018, although this was slightly lower than the 38.1% of six months earlier.

• Reports of increases in construction material costs have become more widespread, with 53.8% of businesses reporting ‘major’ or ‘moderate’ increases in the costs of materials in the six months to September 2018, compared to 47.6% six months earlier. This reflects higher commodity prices and a lift in demand requirements due to the continuing rise in infrastructure investment activity.

Link to full report

QLD Government Releases Digital Enablement for Queensland Infrastructure – Principles for BIM Implementation

The Queensland Government has released its approach to the consistent and progressive implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on major government infrastructure projects.

The Digital Enablement for Queensland Infrastructure – principles for BIM implementation can be found here – www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/bim

In 2017, the government released the Building Information Modelling – draft policy and principles for Queensland for public consultation.

Following consultation, the revised document has been renamed the Digital Enablement for Queensland Infrastructure – principles for BIM implementation (the principles) to reflect connections to a broader range of initiatives.

The principles will guide government agencies in their consistent implementation of BIM and will provide certainty to industry for its future investment and training decisions. The principles are required to establish a whole-of-government framework to meet the goal of implementing BIM on major government infrastructure projects by 2023.

The Government decision will see all major government construction projects with an estimated capital cost of $50 million or more, which commence a detailed business case from 1 July 2019, required to use BIM in accordance with the principles.


Tasmania’s building and construction sector is going from strength to strength, and the latest ABS figures confirm Tasmania has recorded the highest growth rate in the nation with respect to new residential construction.

The Construction Work Done preliminary figures for the September 2018 quarter, showed a 31.7 per cent increase in the value of new residential work done, compared to the previous year.

Not only is this the highest growth rate in the country, but it is almost four times higher than the national growth rate of 8.6 per cent.

These results prove that the Hodgman Majority Liberal Government’s Plan to encourage growth in Tasmania’s
building and construction sector is working.

Under the Government’s nation-leading policies, investment and jobs in the sector are up and red tape is being cut making it easier, faster and cheaper to build.

Tasmania is also performing well in other areas of construction, with the value of total construction work done increasing by 4.4 per cent compared to the previous quarter, with the total value of work done in Tasmania nearly $2.9 billion in the year to September 2018, which is an increase of 11.3 per cent.

Engineering construction activity also grew over the September 2018 quarter, up by 13.6 per cent in real terms compared to the previous year, in contrast to 5.8 per cent increase in the growth experienced nationally.

These figures are further confirmation that the Hodgman Majority Liberal Government’s long-term Plan is
building Tasmania’s future.