Australia: Queensland introduces chain of responsibility legislation for non-conforming building products

The Queensland Government proposes to introduce comprehensive changes to its building and construction laws through the amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) proposed by the Building and Construction Legislation (Nonconforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017 (Amendments), introduced in to Parliament on 26 May 2017.

The Amendments will address the growing problem of non-conforming building products (NCBPs) and attempt to eliminate the use of unsafe building products across Queensland building sites by introducing a chain of responsibility for the supply of building products. The compliance and enforcement powers of the regulator, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), will also be increased. The Amendments require critical attention for all participants in the building product supply chain, including designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers (Supply Chain Participants).

NCBPs are building products and materials that are marketed and supplied with misleading claims about their quality or purpose, or do not meet the required standards.

Why are the Amendments being proposed?

The Amendments are a response to 'the proliferation of cheap, imported, substandard products entering our country, [which] is a risk to the health and safety of all Queenslanders', according to Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni. NCBPs not only threaten the integrity of a building, putting those who enter and work on the building at risk, but also cost building owners significant amounts to rectify damages or undertake remedial action as a result of NCBPs.

Reviews of the current regulatory system have concluded that the present system does not provide an effective overarching framework for identifying and addressing NCBPs.1 The current framework also disproportionately focuses on the end of the supply chain, with tradesmen, installers and building licensees bearing the responsibility for NCBPs. The Amendments to the QBCC Act will address this inequity by establishing obligations for all participants in the building product supply chain.

Key takeaways from the Amendments to the QBCC Act:

  1. Introduction of a chain of responsibility in the supply of building products

Supply Chain Participants will have a positive obligation to, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure building products they use are safe and fit for their intended purpose. The accountability mechanism will allow the QBCC to address a point of failure in the supply chain, and the party that is responsible for an NCBP can be directed to replace a NCBP, fix a problem related to a NCBP, or may be liable for offences related to supplying or installing a NCBP.

  1. Increased powers of the regulator

Presently, the QBCC is only empowered to inspect active sites. The Amendments will extend the regulator's current powers to enable the QBCC to:

  • audit and inspect buildings that are not active building sites;
  • enter a site to collect samples of products for testing;
  • require Supply Chain Participants to produce information about alleged NCBPs;
  • direct rectifications of unsafe buildings and sites;
  • declare a building or site unsafe;
  • prosecute offences related to supplying or installing a NCBP; and
  • recall NCBPs and issue public warnings about them.

The Commissioner will also be empowered to share information with other relevant agencies, including the health and safety regulator, local governments and agencies of the Commonwealth or State. This will facilitate a uniform approach by QBCC and health and safety regulator, such that they can more effectively work together to prosecute offences related to NCBPs, to encourage compliance with the provisions and protect the public and building industry workers from harm arising from unsafe situations caused by NCBPs.

  1. Establishment of an advisory committee, the Building Products Advisory Committee

The Amendments establish a Building Products Advisory Committee (BPAC), which will assist the Minister, Commissioner and Board with advice regarding the suitability and safety of building products, promoting safe building products and raising awareness of NCBPs within the industry. The BPAC will possess all the powers necessary to perform its functions, including obtaining expert advice from industry bodies.

  1. New offences related to NCBPs

With the increased powers of the regulator, the Amendments introduce offences for contravening the obligations placed on Supply Chain Participants, to act as a deterrent for offences related to NCBPs and emphasise the seriousness of the offences. The proposed maximum penalty for breaching a duty in relation to NCBPs is currently $121,600, which is higher than penalties currently imposed by the QBCC Act.

The Amendments are expected to lead to higher building product standards, greater attention in the construction industry, more effective regulatory enforcement and ultimately result in safer infrastructure.

How can you prepare?

We can help you prepare for the changes to the laws by examining your systems that deal with building products that pass through your position in the supply chain, to ensure that you comply with the new obligations.

Report on NCBPs in the Commonwealth Government

The Queensland Government appears to have set the standard for legislation to deal with NCBPs, although the Commonwealth Government is slowly joining the move towards sharing the accountability for NCBPs. Back in June 2015, the Senate referred an inquiry and report into NCBPs to the Senate Economics References Committee. Following several delays and extensions, the interim report on the illegal importation of products containing asbestos is due to be handed down on 31 August 2017, and the final report will be released on 31 October 2017.


1Explanatory Note, Building and Construction Legislation (Nonconforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017 (Hon M de Brenni MP, 26 May 2017).

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
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”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions