By Troy Schultz, Principal Engineer, PEAKURBAN
At PEAKURAN, we aim to stay on top of key changes so that we are equipped to continue protecting our client’s interests.
You may be aware that the Building Industry Fairness Act 2017 (Qld) (BIFA) commenced on 17 December 2018. This replaces the Building and Construction Industry Payment Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA).
The changes are significant and may have severe and strict consequences if they are not fully understood or administered. We have summarised some of the key changes below for your consideration:
- BIFA applies to new and existing contracts prior to or after 17 December 2018.
- BIFA lessens the requirements of a payment claim. Claims no longer need to be endorsed as a payment claim under the Act. This means a simple “invoice” is likely to be taken as a payment claim.
- Times for issuing a payment schedule by the Principal have changed. Principal’s need to pay the full claim amount by the due date or could be subject to a penalty and disciplinary action (a penalty of up to $65,275 for corporations may be imposed).
- Under BCIPA, there were second chance provisions to issue a payment schedule. Under BIFA there are no second chance provisions if a payment schedule is not issued within the due date. The Contractor may then take immediate steps to recover a full payment claim amount.
- The Superintendent/Principal must assess payment claims thoroughly and provide all reasons for not certifying or paying any claimed amounts. The BIFA does not allow the introduction of new reasons for a non-payment in an adjudication hearing.
Given the potential consequences of failing to implement or administer these requirements correctly, it would be prudent to seek professional legal advice and review your construction contracts to determine if any changes are required. If you require any further information on this, please feel free to contact Troy Schultz.