Allana Agnew, an Associate in our Litigation and Insolvency
team, attended a Discussion Evening held by the Building Dispute
Practitioners Society in August 2014. Presenting at the Discussion
Evening was the new Chairman of the Board and Commissioner of the
Queensland Building and Construction Commission
("QBCC"), Steve Griffin, who spoke to
attendees about the proposed reforms to the QBCC and to the Act
that governs it.
The amendments to the QBCC Act ("Amending
Bill") were introduced to Parliament on 7 August
2014. Below are some of the key amendments proposed in the Amending
LICENSING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The renewal process is being simplified and streamlined by the
Amending Bill so that:
Licences will be renewed every three years rather than 12
Licensees will no longer be required to provide financial
reports to the QBCC when renewing their licences.
The Commissioner indicated that the requirement to provide
financial reports was a significant cost saving amendment for both
licensees and the QBCC. However, he mentioned that the QBCC may go
direct to other sources to find out whether or not licensees are in
fact compliant by, for example, accessing Australian Taxation
The QBCC has amended its policy on financial requirements,
commencing on 1 October 2014. That policy provides a number of
changes to the previous policy, including:
early dispute resolution for homeowners and builders by way of
mediation with the QBCC acting as mediator. This avoids the current
situation where contracts must be terminated or completed before
the QBCC will provide assistance. Mediation will occur within 28
days of either party applying to the QBCC; and
the introduction of an internal review process in the QBCC,
before a QCAT review occurs.
STATUTORY INSURANCE SCHEME
Not to be missed are the proposed amendments to the Home
Warranty Scheme. In particular, there will no longer be any stay of
a decision of the QBCC while a review is being sought in QCAT. The
QBCC will, notwithstanding any review proceeding, proceed to accept
tenders and undertake rectification work. The Commissioner
considers this change to be a 'win' for families who will
no longer have to wait for a house with defective building work to
We would argue the "win" for families is at the
expense of builders, who may have legitimate grounds to oppose a
rectification order but who will lose the opportunity to rectify
where the QCAT does not accept those grounds. To give an example,
we have seen instances of three different QBCC inspectors
inspecting one alleged defect at different times and all reaching
different conclusions about the defect, with one inspector
supporting the builder's position that there was no defect. In
those circumstances, it would be reasonable for a builder to oppose
a rectification order where the order is made on the basis of a
single report inconsistent with other findings.
EXPECTED START DATE
The above matters are not exhaustive of the amendments to be
introduced if the Amending Bill is passed by Parliament. The
Commissioner seemed hopeful the Amending Bill would pass through
Parliament and commence between October and November 2014.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).