Security of Payment
There have been several amendments to Section 42 of the QBCC Act which increase the penalties for a number of serious offences. These changes are designed to discourage certain behaviour and minimise the risk this behavior presents to consumers and the industry.
The amendments introduce escalating maximum penalties for the following breaches:
- unlawful carrying out of building work;
- carrying out building work without a nominee;
- unlawful carrying out of fire protection work; and
- a licensed contractor who engages or directs an unauthorised person for fire protection work.
All of these penalties are further increased if the building work carried out is tier one (1) defective work.
New offences, increased penalties and wider grounds for disciplinary action will deter recalcitrant contractors and unlicensed persons from engaging in poor practices and unlawful conduct. This will have a flow on effect of improving building, safety and professional standards in the building and construction industry.
Higher penalties will provide a greater deterrent to unlicensed persons entering the market, which will improve the rate of compliance with standards.
The proposed new penalties align Queensland more closely with other states and territories, which generally have higher maximum penalties for unlicensed building work. For example, the maximum penalty in both Victoria and New South Wales is 500 penalty units, with the possibility of 12 months' imprisonment in New South Wales for second and subsequent offences. South Australia also applies escalating penalties including imprisonment.