A recent Supreme Court of Queensland decision is a timely
reminder to claimants of the technical requirements that must be
satisfied to successfully serve a payment claim under the
Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004
As many people in the building and construction industry would
be aware, one of the requirements of a payment claim is that it
must identify the construction work or related goods and services
In Baxbex Pty Ltd v Bickle  QSC 194, Baxbex sent
an alleged payment claim under BCIPA in the form of a letter which
"in accordance with s 17 of [BCIPA] we
the construction work and/or goods and services to which
our client's progress claim relates is as particularised in the
the amount of the progress claim that the Plaintiff claims
to be payable is $148,819.10; and
the claim is made in accordance with
Attached to the letter was a schedule which referred to a number
of invoices, but failed to attach copies of them. The schedule
stated the invoice number, the date of the invoice and the balance
owing. Presumably relying on the content in the invoices referred
to, the schedule itself did not provide any information to identify
the construction work or goods or services.
Bickle failed to provide a payment schedule and Baxbex applied
for judgment of the full amount.
The Judge in this case found that the schedule was, on its face,
not compliant with BCIPA, as it did not identify the construction
work or any related goods or services. It merely invoked invoices
by invoice number and amount.
Baxbex argued that because Bickle had received these invoices
before, the claim sufficiently identified the work. The Judge:
said "the letter which was relied on as constituting the
"payment claim" did not comply with s 17 of the
BCIPA as neither the construction work nor related goods
or services were identified within the payment claim
drew a distinction between this case and another recent case
where the invoices and supporting documentation were attached to
the payment claim. He was of the opinion that "it would have
been possible for the applicant to have sent copies of the invoices
as part of, or annexed to, the schedule but this was not
What about administration and supervisory costs?
The judge also considered the effect of including work which was
arguably not 'construction work' or 'related goods or
services' in the payment claim. The payment claim included
amounts for administration and supervisory costs. The Judge thought
that a claimant's "entitlement to payment is dependant
upon the proper construction of the contract and the legal
entitlements of the parties under the contract". He also
thought that "whether or not administration and supervision
can be considered 'construction work' or 'supply
related goods and services' pursuant to the contract is
properly a matter for adjudication".
Essentially, if Bickle wanted to raise this point, it was a
matter to be raised in the payment schedule, and not used later to
try and defeat a judgment application.
Significance to the building and construction industry
Important points to be taken from this case for claimants
You must carefully check your payment claims to ensure they
identify the construction work or related goods and services that
are the subject of the claim.
Failing to satisfy this requirement will prevent you from
successfully applying for judgment under BCIPA where no payment
schedule has been received.
Referring to invoices and documents that identify the
construction work or related goods and services is not enough. The
claim itself must identify what you are claiming. This is the case
even if the respondent already has these documents.
Important points to be taken from this case for respondents
If a claimant has not properly identified the work in the
payment claim and you have failed to put in a payment schedule,
there may still be grounds for you to oppose an application for
judgment on this basis.
If you disagree that the work in a payment claim is not
construction work or related goods or services, you should raise
this in a payment schedule.
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