Building subbies’ vote hope

CONSTRUCTION industry sub-contractors will demand whoever wins government today moves immediately to improve their security of payment.

They argue that despite representing 85% of those employed in the sector, they have been left unrepresented and vulnerable to a contract chain in which they have the least power.

Subcontractors Alliance spokesman Les Williams said secured trusts to hold payments for all construction industry participants were opposed by the big builders and also the Master Builders Association, who had the ear of government but did not represent the bulk of the industry.

The alliance claims recent amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act by the LNP Government have left them more vulnerable.

Mr Williams said there were also concerns that the Queensland Building and Construction Commission had no sub-contractors on its board.

"We represent a significant portion of the state's small business sector, employing 250,000 people,'' he said. "That appears to be something neither the LNP nor Labor fully understands."

Australian Standards contract rules talked about the relationship between builder and client, but made no mention of sub-contractors who were a significant third party.

Newman Government Housing Minister Tim Mander this week ruled out revisiting recent amendments to the BCIPA Act.

"The changes do not adversely impact sub-contractors and have been almost universally welcomed by the industry,'' he said.

"The system is now simpler and more transparent than ever before. Claims can now be lodged online and applicants have 24-hour access to advice from the QBCC's call centre.

Nor would the LNP consider changes to the QBCC's board to provide representation for sub-contractors.

Labor shadow public works minister Bill Byrne did not directly answer questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily but said sub-contractors should be treated like any other Queensland workers.

"After a fair day's work, they deserve a fair day's pay,'' he said.