Almost $4 million in outstanding debts was returned to subcontractors and suppliers last financial year, thanks to Queensland’s building industry watchdog.
Of the 759 monies owed complaint investigations completed during the 2020/21 financial year by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), debts owed to subcontractors and suppliers totalling $3,869,077.96 were paid.
QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said it was important subcontractors were confident they would be paid for work they did.
“Our free monies-owed complaints service is available for the industry to use, and these amounts may not have been paid had the QBCC not been contacted,” he said.
“We have implemented a number of initiatives where we look at the licensees, industry compliance with security of payment and take appropriate action where necessary to ensure our trades are being paid.
“The monies-owed complaint service is just one of these tools, helping to ensure tradies get paid for the work they do.
“Failure to pay can lead to costly legal proceedings or potential licence suspensions and cancellations for QBCC licensees.”
Under law, it is a minimum financial requirement that QBCC contractor licensees must pay a debt owing to a subcontractor or supplier in relation to the performance of building work on or before it becomes due and payable.
Mr Bassett said it was important to always have a contract in place with a subcontractor or supplier and if monies weren’t paid, a payment schedule should be set up in accordance with the Building Industry Fairness (BIF) Act 2017.
Between October 2014 and June 2021 approximately $38.96 million has been recovered by the QBCC via the monies-owed complaints service since the minimum financial requirements policy began.
Mr Bassett said educating the industry on improved payment practices was a win-win for everyone.
“QBCC does rely on industry information, therefore any subcontractor or supplier who is legitimately owed an undisputed debt is encouraged to lodge a monies owed complaint via qbcc.qld.gov.au,” he said.