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The demerit point system under the QBCC Act 1991

How you can accumulate demerit points in Queensland under the demerit point system and the risks involved if you earn more than 30 demerit points.

As of 1 July 2003, a demerit point system was put in place for licence holders. Demerit points are issued to licence holders if they commit an offence. If the licence holder accumulates 30 points in a 3-year period then the licence holder and (where a company entity is involved) all directors, secretaries, nominees or influential persons in the company may be subject to a 3-year ban from holding or being involved with a licence holder. This includes being the secretary, a director or an influential person in a licensed company or in partnership with a licensed entity.

If you accumulate a second set of 30 points within 10 years of the first disqualification, then you will be subject to a life ban from holding a licence or being involved with a licensed entity including being the secretary, a director, or an influential person in a licensed company or in partnership with a licensed entity). Where you do accumulate any points, the points are shown on your public record held by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

How do you accumulate points?

There are different points for different offences, offences range from 2 to 10 demerit points. An offence is a contravention of a requirement imposed under the QBCC Act or prescribed regulations.

For example:

  • You could get 10 points if you do not pay a judgement debt by the due date for payment or 28 days after it is entered. You are meant to tell the QBCC if you do not pay a judgement debt by the due date. If you do not tell the QBCC you commit an offence. If at any time you pay the judgement debt, you get the 10 points back.
  • You could get 10 points if you fail to comply with a direction to rectify or remedy defective works.
  • If you fail to provide an owner with a commencement notice (if required) you could get 2 points.

The QBCC must give you a notice after it has allocated any demerit points. You can challenge any allocation of demerit points. If you are not challenging the allocation, then the points will be removed 3 years from the date that they take effect. For a full list of the various offences under the QBCC Act you can visit the QBCC website

Where 30 points are accumulated

If you are an individual licence holder with 30 points accumulated against your licence, the QBCC will take steps to ban you from holding a licence. You can only challenge the ban on the basis that you have not in fact accumulated 30 points.

If you are a director, secretary, nominee, or influential person in a company that accumulates 30 points, the QBCC will give you a notice of intention to suspend. You will, in addition to challenging that the points have been accumulated, be able to make representations that you exercised reasonable diligence to ensure that some or all of the matters for which the points have accumulated did not happen or that you were not in a position to influence the conduct of the company’s affairs regarding those matters.

HIA recommends that you review your contract and subcontract practices to ensure that you comply with the relevant laws. You should document procedures that are to be followed to avoid breaching the Act in relation to demerit offences where possible. You should also consider if you need to challenge any demerit offence brought by the QBCC.

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

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