| Published by Paul Somers
On 21 December 2016 the Australian Government announced a review of security of payments laws in the building and construction industry, noting (among other things) the ongoing problems caused by differences in approach to security of payments laws across jurisdictions.
The Review will seek to identify what measures can be taken to overcome the current disjointed operation of the security of payments laws. It will also examine why subcontractors commonly fail to use the various security of payment regimes.
The Review is to report back to the Australian Government no later than 31 December 2017 and include recommendations to be considered by Government for reform of the Australian security of payment regimes.
The Turnbull Government has appointed Mr John Murray AM to conduct the Review. Mr Murray is a director of Cbus and its in-house property development arm, Cbus Property. He is the former CEO of Master Builders Australia and has extensive experience in the construction industry.
In February 2017 Mr Murray released an issues paper identifying 15 key issues for stakeholders and commentators to examine and report on for the Review. Many of the issues will be familiar to the various users of the security of payment regimes (builders, contractors, Principals, Superintendents, lawyers, adjudicators, Courts). For example, differences in response timeframes across State regimes; endorsement of Payment Claims; impact of contract time-bars; exclusion of domestic building work; and exclusion of various claims. A copy of the Issues Paper is hosted on our website and can be viewed here.
Paul Somers, a member of the Dispute Resolution team at Russell Kennedy, will be attending at a conference facilitated by Mr Murray in early April 2017 to raise issues of concern arising from his own experience as a lawyer advising asset owners, developers and builders about compliance with the regime.
You are welcome to contact Paul by 1 April 2017 if you would like him to canvass any specific issues at the conference, firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9609 1664.