A key piece of legislation that supports security of payment in Western Australia’s building and construction industry will be reviewed this year.
Building Commissioner Peter Gow today announced that Professor Philip Evans of Curtin University has been appointed to review the Construction Contracts Act 2004.
“The Construction Contracts Act is part of a suite of new building legislation implemented in Western Australia over the past decade that has delivered significant reforms to building regulation in this state,” Mr Gow said.
“With the major reforms now behind us, and with a steady increase in the use of alternative dispute resolution in recent years, the time has come to take a good look at the operation of the Construction Contracts Act. The review will ensure the Act is providing the best possible protection for subcontractors, head contractors and building owners.”
The Act supports security of payment in the building and construction industry by:
- prohibiting or modifying unfair provisions in construction contracts;
- implying provisions in construction contracts about payment and dispute processes if there are no written provisions about the matters in the contracts; and
- providing a means for adjudicating payment disputes arising under construction contracts.
The Act operates in conjunction with two other pieces of legislation:
- The Home Building Contracts Act 1991 – which regulates contracts between consumers and builders for the performance of certain home building work, to make provision for home indemnity insurance; and
- The Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011 – which provides a system for dealing with complaints about building services, home building work contract matters and disciplinary matters.
Mr Gow said the review would consider the context in which the Construction Contracts Act now operates and whether amendments to it or other Acts are needed to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. The review is expected to commence this month (June 2014).
The Construction Contracts Act 2004 came into operation on 1 January 2005. Since the introduction of the Act, the number of applications under the building dispute resolution process has been increasing. For example, a total of 208 applications worth $226.3 million were adjudicated in 2012/13, up from 178 applications worth $183.7 million the previous year.
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