- Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Author: Robert Riddell
Over 1½ years since John Murray was appointed by the Commonwealth Department of Employment to undertake a review of the security of payment laws across Australia, the New South Wales Government is pressing ahead, alone, with changes to its east coast model for security of payment.
The proposed changes are set out in a recently released public consultation draft of the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Bill 2018 (Exposure Draft). Some of the changes seem consistent with recommendations in the Murray Report, others not so, or cover ground not the subject of Murray report recommendations.
The highlights of the Bill, include:
1. Reference Dates
Whereas the Murray Report recommended the abolition of reference dates and the adoption of a simple entitlement to make monthly claims, the Exposure Draft contemplates turning a two paragraph definition of “reference date” into a ¾ page epic in which:
2. Shortening Due Dates for Payment
The Exposure Draft proposes maximum time periods for progress payments as follows:
It is generally recognised that the current 30 day period is excessive. Whilst 20 business days is an improvement the question remains why sub‑contractors must wait four weeks when the head contractor will have to wait only two.
3. Endorsement of Payment Claims
Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Exposure Draft proposes the reintroduction of the endorsement, or something close to it. To be a payment claim under the Act the claim “must state that it is made under this Act”. Common sense may yet prevail!