Complaints between a principal contractor and their subcontractor

As of 1 June 2015, we will be extending our EDR service to cover disputes between principal contractors and their subcontractors.

When you sign a contract with a client to perform building work, you are responsible for the quality of the work you perform. In some instances, you may engage a subcontractor/s to perform aspects of that work for you. Remember though, as the principal contractor you are still responsible for all the work performed under that contract.

If during construction you are caught in a disagreement with a subcontractor/s over defective or incomplete building work or a contractual issue, you may be able to access our Early Dispute Resolution (EDR) service.

Our EDR process shouldn't be used in place of seeking your own independent legal advice or contract administration services.

How to lodge an EDR request

You can request EDR assistance by choosing from one of the following methods:

  • Calling us on 139 333
  • Submitting a request online
  • Faxing your request to (07) 3225 2999
  • Posting your request to:

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission
GPO Box 5099
Brisbane QLD 4001

What will happen after you lodge an EDR request

When we receive your EDR request, it is assigned to one of our Resolution Services officers. They will contact both you and your subcontractor. An attempt will be made in this first phone call to facilitate an outcome for your dispute.

If this is unsuccessful and if there is alleged defective work present, a site inspection may be conducted. During the site inspection, our Building Inspector will again attempt to facilitate an agreement between you and your subcontractor.

If an agreement can't be reached and if necessary, he may issue a Direction to Rectify to both you and your subcontractor.

Remember if you're issued with a Direction to Rectify you should fix the defective work within 28 days to avoid disciplinary action, which may involve suspension or cancellation of your licence and fines.

What you can do to help the EDR process

The process will run more smoothly if you have all of your information handy for when you lodge your dispute and when our Building Inspector contacts you. This includes the details of the subcontractor you're in dispute with and the contract you've signed with them.

As the EDR process is about facilitation, be open and willing to reach an agreement and, if necessary, attend a site meeting.

If a site meeting does become necessary, we'll need you to bring along any documentation our Building Inspector may request.

What to do if you're unhappy with the outcome of the EDR process

Internal Review

We offer an Internal Review process through our Internal Review Unit. If you're unhappy with our decision to issue you with a Direction to Rectify, you can lodge a review request. You have 28 days from when you became aware of our decision to lodge your Internal Review request.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

Instead of applying to our Internal Review Unit for a review of our decision to issue you with a Direction to Rectify, you have 28 days from when you became aware of our decision to apply to QCAT for an independent external review.

You may also be able to lodge an application with QCAT to help resolve your building dispute. For further information on either of these processes, contact QCAT on 1300 753 288 or visit their website at

Queensland Ombudsman

The Queensland Ombudsman may review 'administrative decisions'. For further information, contact the Queensland Ombudsman on 1800 068 908 or visit their website at