• Queensland update

Security of Payment – Queensland Building Plan

The release of the State Government’s discussion paper in November 2016 sought feedback on potential reforms and proposed policy or legislative amendments impacting the industry as part of the Queensland Building Plan. The objective of the discussion paper is to put forward a range of measures for discussion “to ensure a safe, fair and more sustainable building and construction future that creates jobs and encourages economic growth”.

One topical proposal was the proposed reforms around creating Security of Payment for subcontractors. This has been a hot topic after it’s introduction in other states. The proposal includes Project bank accounts (PBAs) being required for all government projects valued at between $1 million and $10 million from 1 January 2018.

PBAs are trust accounts, to be set up and administered by the head contractor. The intention of the PBA is to safeguard progress payments to the subcontractors in the event of head contractor insolvency. The Government intends to roll out the PBA model to both government and private sector projects over $1 million from January 2019 if the initial pilot is successful.

While the intentions are good, the additional administrative burden that PBA’s involve and time delays in processing payments will put a huge additional burden on head contractors and only serve to drive up costs.  

The Aftermath of Cyclone Debbie

Many in Queensland and Northern New South Wales are still cleaning up from the initial the impact of Cyclone Debbie and the torrents of rain the East Coast experienced in her wake. The extent of the damage to some of Queensland’s natural assets is only starting to be understood and the repair bill for infrastructure across the state is expected to be staggering. While the actual damage bill can only be imagined at present, there is clearly a lot to be done. The silver lining to be found is the much needed boost to employment, particularly in the State’s north to participate in the rebuild. 

Brisbane’s Buildings that Breathe

Released by the Brisbane City Council late 2016, the final ‘Buildings that Breathe’ non-statutory guide put forth best-practice for development in the subtropical climate of South-East Queensland. The document explores eight key design themes for future projects, and targets an audience of architects, planners, developments and property professionals.

Those themes and considerations include:

  • orientate yourself;
  • occupy outdoor spaces;
  • illuminate with daylight;
  • natural air and ventilation;
  • shade and protect;
  • living greenery;
  • identity matters; and,
  • reduce energy and waste.

The Councils anticipated result of this initiative aims to move Brisbane into Australia’s New World City by ‘creating an enviable and lush urban environment that attracts investment and tourism, celebrates our lifestyle and stimulates economic activity’.

Download a copy of the New World City Design Guide – Buildings that Breathe.

Draft BIM Policy & Principles released

The Queensland Government recently released its draft guidelines on Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the delivery and management of infrastructure assets. The Government is seeking industry feedback to refine the policies and principles and has expressed its intention to implement the use of BIM on all major state infrastructure projects by 2023.

The BIM framework will apply to:

  • all Queensland Government departments, agencies and statutory authorities
  • the full lifecycle of all new state infrastructure assets, including all vertical (e.g. hospitals and schools) and linear infrastructure (e.g. roads and railways), and
  • smaller new and existing projects where cost effective.

Next article: South Australia update