The Queensland Government’s amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) commenced on Monday, 15th December 2014.
The amendments significantly change the State’s building disputes resolution system. Prior to these changes, the Queensland system mirrored other states and territories in offering a cost effective, rapid and effective process, allowing claimants to stay in business during the dispute. Subcontractors are now severely disadvantaged when making an application.
The purpose of this update is to provide you with a short summary of the major changes and to explain the new role of Adjudicate Today.
Summary of Key Changes
- Time frames for disputes involving sums in excess of $750,000 have increased. Under the old law, disputes were generally resolved within six weeks to protect small to medium operators from financial hardship or insolvency. That time frame has increased to up to six months.
- The current, no-cost service provided by ANAs on how to recover unpaid money has been dismantled. ANAs have had their statutory existence abolished, including the indemnity which allowed them to provide free advice.
- The cost of adjudication has increased. Adjudicate Today never charged an application fee to commence adjudication. The Government charges a sliding scale varying from $50 to $5,000.
- The requirement to process adjudication applications within four business days has been removed.
What should you do?
Government does not provide comprehensive advice to you as a free service. We suggest you seek paid advice from a law firm specialising in construction law or a reputable preparer.
Adjudication applications must be submitted during “business” hours. If late, the application is held to the next day which will render many “out of time” and therefore unable to proceed to adjudication. Applications must now be filed before 5:00 pm on the last business day rather than midnight.
What is the role of Adjudicate Today?
Adjudicate Today continues to trade in Queensland but in a vastly different role. We act as agents for adjudicators and are the conduit of information between parties and the adjudicator nominated by government to decide the dispute.
Because of the operation of the amendments, the advice, flowcharts and forms previously provided at this site have been removed. We hope that future changes will be made to BCIPA which will permit Adjudicate Today to restore the information which was previously available. The phone number for the Queensland Adjudication Registrar is 13 93 33 (Australia Wide). The website is www.qbcc.qld.gov.au.
In the meantime our role in other States and Territory remains unaffected and staff are available to provide assistance in relation to proceeding under those Acts.