Building law changes should hasten dispute resolution

Maurice Williamson: Disputes will be dealt with faster and more cost effectively

Changes to the Construction Contracts Act have been introduced in Parliament to expand the scope of accelerated dispute resolution processes.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson tabled the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill in parliament today, the first sitting day for 2013, although it has yet to be formally introduced with a first reading.

The proposed changes:

  • Remove the distinction between residential and commercial construction contracts.
  • Broaden the definition of construction work to include design, engineering and quantity survey work.
  • Allow more direct enforcement of determinations about rights and obligations.
  • Reduces to five days the time a defendant has to oppose an application to have an adjudication determination entered.

"Construction contract disputes will be dealt with faster and more cost effectively," Mr Williamson says.

The changes are "part of a package of building law reforms aimed at making improvements to the building sector's accountability and productivity".

The Construction Contracts Act 2002 created default progress payment provisions for construction contracts, provided an adjudication process for disputes, as well as ways of recovering non-payment of construction contracts.

"A review of the Act in 2009 concluded reasonably minor amendments could give it a wider application, and many of the suggestions made in the review are contained in the amendments introduced today," Mr Williamson says.


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7 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Good changes but still fiddling around the edges of the two elephants in the room:

a) Remove bureaucratic responsibility and control of quality and durability.
b) Replace planning rules and regulations by tradeable property rights and let property owners sort out their own problems and solutions with those they want to affect.


Agree. But Williamson wouldn't understand. A lifetime as an MP and he remains clueless about nearly anything.


Also agree. Big mouth but little action.


I used to wonder about the often bizarre use of the Dislike button on this site - until I noticed how highly government bureaucracies rate on your "Most Active Business Subscribers" list.


Maurice Williamson is incapable of following through and finishing anything effectively. Anything he fiddles with is half-baked, too little, too late.


The little guy still can get screwed by ruthless property developers who have no intention of paying and using subbies as cheap credit.


Why don't you subbies get together and set up a system of reporting which developers are trustworthy and which are not?


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