Section 3: When does the Act apply?

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The Act applies to all contracts for the carrying out of construction work in Western Australia entered into after 1 January 2005.

Construction work is defined in the Act to include the carrying out of most trade work, or supply of goods and services, typically associated with building and construction. This includes:

  • Building dwellings, office towers, hospitals, schools, roads etc.
  • Civil engineering
  • Demolition work
  • Electrical work
  • Supply of building materials
  • Hire of plant and equipment
  • Landscaping
  • Maintenance
  • Professional services (for example architectural design, surveying)

However, certain construction work is specifically excluded from the operation of the Act. This includes:

  • drilling for the purposes of discovering or extraction oil or natural gas
  • constructing a shaft, pit or quarry, or drilling for the purposes of discovering or extracting any mineral bearing substance
  • fabricating or assembling items of plant used for the purposes of extracting or processing oil, natural gas or mineral bearing substance
  • construction of ships or watercrafts

The extent of work excluded from the Act has been subject to a number of court decisions. So it is important to consider whether the type of work you carry out is covered by the Act. If unsure, you should seek professional advice.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find a copy of the Act?

A copy of the Act can be located on the State Law Publisher website.

Does the Act apply to wages or superannuation?

No. If you are having a dispute concerning wages or superannuation owed to you contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.

Does the Act apply if I carry out other types of construction work on a mining site in Western Australia?

Sometimes you may be carrying out work or supplying goods to a mining site to construct items not necessarily related to the mining work. For example, you may be constructing accommodation, ablution block, roads or providing landscaping services. Alternatively, you might be carrying out civil works (e.g. design/planning, earthworks, plumbing and electrical) for the onsite construction of an oil/gas processing facility or mining plant. In these cases the Act is likely to apply to the work undertaken. If unsure of the application of the Act to your work you should seek professional advice.

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