IMPROVEMENT: Disputed claims are making their way back to construction industry workers.
IMPROVEMENT: Disputed claims are making their way back to construction industry workers.

More than $18 million in disputed payments returned

MORE than $18.2 million in disputed payments has made its way into the pockets of unpaid building and construction workers in less than six months.

Since February, 124 adjudication decisions have been handed down under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payments) Act 2017.

The Act implemented a number of measures to ensure building industry workers were paid in-full and on-time.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Commissioner Brett Bassett said the process had proven more cost-effective than court and delivered faster results.

"Adjudication is now simpler than ever for those with payments in dispute, with every invoice automatically recognised as a payment claim," Mr Bassett said.

"Already we've seen 71 claimants successfully use adjudication to recoup money owed to them.

"The amounts claimed range from $400 to multi-millions of dollars. The highest awarded was more than $8.7 million.

"Decisions for adjudication take 21 days on average for a standard claim, which means contractors see their money a lot sooner than if they were to take their claim to court."

Compliance action was taken against two civil construction companies that withheld more than $72,000 from subcontractors, with the first fines issued under the Act offence of failing to provide a payment schedule.

Both companies were fined $1305.50 each and all of the disputed amounts have since been paid to the claimants.

The fines come after a new advertising campaign launched last month to educate the industry on the five new laws introduced under the BIF Act to improve security of payment.

For further information on the new security of payment laws, qbcc.build/sop.



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