As part of HHG’s commitment to contractors, we were honoured to be the first law firm in Western Australia to host, together with the Society of Construction Law Australia (SOCLA), Professor Phil Evans discussing his Report on the operation and effectiveness of the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA). We thank SOCLA for their excellent work in this area and we also thank the Civil Contractors Federation for their great support of this event for their members.
Professor Evans’ report was recently tabled in WA’s Legislative Assembly, where 24 of the 28 specific recommendations for law reform made in the report were adopted without amendment.
Once they take effect, the reforms will represent the most substantial changes to WA’s security of payment legislation since the Construction Contracts Act first took effect in 2005. The changes include:
- longer periods to apply for and respond to applications for rapid determination of payment disputes under construction contracts;
- government-subsidised training to construction industry participants on the operation and effective use of the Act’s security of payment provisions;
- limited rights to recycle payment claims; and
- a reduced maximum payment term of 30 business days from the date of the payment claim (reduced from 50 calendar days).
Overall, the adopted changes are fairly limited when compared with the more sweeping reforms being debated, for example, in Queensland and New South Wales. The general consensus appears to have been that our security of payment model is more user friendly, simpler and generally superior to the “east coast” model, the main drawback being a lack of industry awareness of the Act, how it works and what it is for, and a lack of understand among many adjudicators about the nature and limits of their functions under the Act.
Follow the links below to access Professor Evans’ Podcast and a copy of the full report.
You can subscribe to the SoCLA podcast in the Apple iTunes store. Simply search for ‘Society of Construction Law Australia’ from within the iTunes store.