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Security of Payment Review Recommendations

May 24, 2020

The Murray Report made 86 recommendations which covered a wide range of areas including progress payments, the adjudication process and trust arrangements. While the 2020 Bill seeks to implement many of the Murray Report recommendations, trusts arrangements appear to have been excluded.

Also considered significant is the proposal that the Act apply to homeowners. HIA have long called for changes to security of payments laws to allow builders access to the same the rapid adjudication process against non-paying homeowners that subcontractors have against non-paying builders. Currently, builders and subcontractors cannot make a claim against an owner if they do not intend to live at the property on which building work is carried out.

Of concern are provisions that seek to introduce a range of offences including an offence for intimidation. Under the proposal, a person commits an offence of assault in relation to progress payments if they directly or indirectly assault, threaten or intimidate a person in relation to an entitlement to, or claim for a progress payment under the Act. The offence applies to both individuals and companies with maximum penalties of $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a body corporate. Of note previous attempts to introduce such provisions have failed. 

Changes payment claims, payment schedules and shorter timeframes regarding when payments are due and when adjudication application must be lodged as well as the introduction of prescribed fees for adjudication are also proposed.

HIA has made a submission and we will keep members updated on the progress of the Bill.   

For further information please call your Workplace Adviser on 1300 650 620.