The Queensland construction industry has received another boost with the Government today unveiling changes that will make the process of resolving disputes fairer and more transparent.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mander said the changes deliver on the election promise to grow the industry as one of the four pillars of the economy.
“The building and construction industry contributes around $26 billion annually so it’s essential that we have a fair payment system in place,” Mr Mander said.
“Our cuts to red tape in the construction sector are already paying dividends with recent data showing building approvals up almost 50% on the same period last year.
“These changes will continue to restore confidence in the sector, confidence that was severely tested by a former Labor government that wanted to tie the industry up in red tape.”
Mr Mander said the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act was created in 2004 to provide an alternative way for industry participants to resolve payment disputes, but a recent review found widespread dissatisfaction with the way adjudicators were appointed and with what was felt to be unreasonable timeframes for responding to claims.
“In the past, claimants approached an authorised nominating authority who would appoint an adjudicator on their behalf, creating the perception of a conflict of interest,” he said.
“Under the proposed changes, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission will take on the role of registering adjudicators and will appoint them to cases based on their skills, knowledge and experience.”
He said the changes would also recognise the difference between large or complex claims and the smaller more straightforward ones, by offering different timeframes for responding to these claims.
“In the past a one size fits all approach meant the same timeframes applied whether the dispute was over $500 or $5 million,” he said.
“Under the new rules, respondents to large or complex claims where the sum involved is more than $750,000 will be given extra time to respond.”
The proposed changes to the Act will be introduced to parliament by mid-year and are expected to come into effect in late 2014.