The Palaszczuk Labor Government in Queensland has taken a huge step forwards towards protecting the subcontractors of the State in the last couple of days. We have seen a shift in risk go from the shoulders of the subbie back to the contractor.
The QBCC has been given new powers to look into and investigate the financials of construction companies and to intervene if necessary to protect the subbies.
The new laws are also tackling the issues around going bankrupt and simply setting up again under a new name. If you are in any way involved in a company that has had its licence revoked or has declared bankruptcy you will be identified and be heavily penalised, this seems like common sense now that it is done but many subbies have been the victim of such underhand behaviour.
In this industry such big changes need to come from the top and from the 1st January 2018 all Government projects will use ‘project bank accounts’, these are designed to stop dodgy builders using funds from one project on another or on anything else that they may choose.. A year later this initiative will be rolled out to the private sector for all projects over $1m.
At ConX we are hoping other states will follow suit quickly and get on the side of the SME’s in Australia. 82% of all of the 333,500 businesses registered in construction in Australia are subcontractors with less that 19 staff, that is a staggering 273,500. These are the guys and girls that make up the core of the industry and get the work done so it is essential that they are protected..
Payment protection and putting measure in place to ensure contractors get paid for the work they do is an area that we’ve been exploring for a while at ConX. Between industry and government, solutions are on the horizon.