SBDC e-news – December 2016 Construction

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Changes ahead for the construction industry

A new code of conduct for WA’s building and construction industry, recently announced by the State Government, could revolutionise the building industry by creating a fairer work environment for small business contractors.

The WA Building and Construction Industry Code of Conduct 2016, which applies from 1 January, 2017 and covers all major State contracts worth more than $10million, is designed to prevent anti-competitive behaviour, improve workplace safety and ensure subcontractors are paid on time.

The Code contains specific measures to support small business subcontractors including prohibiting price-fixing, sham contracting and unfair contract terms, while enabling the government to sanction head contractors who fail to make payments or return retention money within the specified time.

Non-compliance with the Code could see building and construction contractors excluded from working on government projects.

In addition, recently introduced amendments to the Construction Contracts Act 2004 will reduce maximum payment terms to 30 working days (42 calendar days) and allow easier access to rapid adjudication for resolving payment disputes. These key changes will begin to come into effect from 15 December 2016.

Project Bank Accounts, which protect subcontractors from head contractor insolvency, are also now used in the majority of projects administered by the Government’s Building management and Works with a construction value over $1.5 million

For more information see the Department of Commerce.

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