Review of Security of Payment Laws
In 2017, the Government commissioned the national Review of Security of Payment Laws (the Review) to examine ways to improve consistency in security of payment legislation and enhance protections to ensure subcontractors get paid on time for work they have done.
The Review was conducted by Mr John Murray AM with assistance from the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
Mr Murray is a specialist in building contract disputations and security of payment legislation and has 40 years' experience in the construction industry, including as an accredited Adjudicator under the security of payment legislations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
Review process and consultations
To inform the Review an extensive process of targeted face-to-face consultations was conducted with key stakeholders across all levels of governments, business, unions and other relevant interested parties throughout the first half of 2017, including:
- construction industry unions
- peak trade associations and industry bodies, representing both head contractors and subcontractors
- state and territory regulators and officials
- members of the judiciary
- representatives of authorised nominating authorities (ANAs) and senior adjudicators
- senior legal practitioners, and
- leading academics.
An Issues Paper was produced for the purposes of setting out the matters for discussion during the targeted consultations. The Issues Paper identified key issues related to security of payment and posed questions for consideration by stakeholders.
A process of targeted face-to-face consultations was chosen over a general public consultation that relied only on written submissions as the Reviewer considered it to be more effective in generating detailed responses on what are generally considered to be highly technical issues.
Security of payment is a state and territory matter, as such the final report emphasises the importance of the Commonwealth, states and territories working together to implement the recommendations and create nationally consistent security of payment legislation.
Noting this, the Australian Government is working with the states and territories through the Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) to consider and respond to the findings and recommendations of the Review.
The BMF comprises the group of Australian Government, State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for building and construction. The BMF is responsible for overseeing governance of the built environment, in relation to policy and regulatory issues impacting the building and construction industries.
Responsibility for this project has now transferred to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science which provides secretariat support to the BMF.