Expected changes to BCIPA

On 15 April 2014 the QBCC held a briefing (with 3 speakers) at the Convention Centre for adjudicators about the forthcoming legislative changes to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (“ BCIPA”).

Andrew Wallace, the barrister appointed by Government to provide recommendations after community and industry consultation, provided a background to the work that he had carried out which culminated in his report to government in May 2013 (the “recommendations”).

Andrew identified 4 key areas of reform:

  1. BCIPA will continue to have a wide application across construction activities;
  2. Adjudicators will be appointed by an agency in the QBCC and the benchmark for their qualifications are likely to be higher and with CPD requirements;
  3. A dual scheme is likely to be introduced for standard claims and complex claims (involving amounts equal to or over $750,000, involving a latent condition or a time related claim) and the timeframes will increase;
  4. Respondents, in the adjudication response will no longer be confined to the reasons in the payment schedule, and claimants will be given a right of reply

Michael Chesterman, the Registrar of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Agency (the “Agency”) and an Executive Manager in the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“ QBCC”) discussed some of the significant initiatives to implement the recommendations, including the procedures and timetable for legislative change, which were envisaged to be in place by 1 September 2014. One significant point was that the Agency will appoint all adjudicators.

Ruth Hatton, a lawyer with the QBCC, with the responsibility to coordinate the implementation of the recommendations for adjudicators and their training, outlined some of the responses she had from industry during a consultation process.

LIKELY IMPACT ON INDUSTRY

Whilst all 3 speakers emphasised that the recommendations and the activities that were taking place were subject to Cabinet Committee changes, it appears that the likely impact on industry will be significant:

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