Nick Xenophon was interviewed this week on ABC Radio National about supporting the Governments Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) Bills. In the interview he discusses how part of the negotiation will involve providing greater protection to sub-contractors, when builders go bust.
Also being negotiated is a way to ensure the Building Code and Australian Standards are used to stop sub-standard imported materials being used in the industry.
These are important issues, especially the protection of sub-contractor payments. As seen with the recent liquidation of Homestead Homes, most sub-contractors will lose money owed to them for work they have completed. The Security of Payments Act is seen as a way to ensure sub-contractors aren’t financially decimated when builders go bankrupt. Part of the issue is that sub-contractors have been made to feel they will miss out on work if they use the provisions in the existing Act. Another issue is that tradies who have been working as contractors unlicensed have no way to claim any payments. Having sub-contractors rights discussed is a great leap forward after so many tradies have been left out-of-pocket.