Queensland Government reinforces security of payment for tradies

The Queensland Government has extended the commencement of the remaining phases of the Project Trust Accounts (PTA) framework to strengthen security of payment for tradies, in particular for smaller contracts.

The date has been extended for eligible contracts for up to two years – between $3 and $10 million to 1 March 2025, and over $1 million to 1 October 2025.

The PTA framework is in addition to the states Minimum Financial Requirement and Retention Trust Accounts security of payment frameworks.

These frameworks are all designed to strengthen security of payments to tradies, ensure safe workplaces, and quality construction for consumers right across Queensland’s building and construction industry.

In recognition of the need to balance continued protections for tradies with a suitable software solution for smaller builders feeling the strain of an at-capacity industry, the Queensland Government has extended the commencement of the remaining phases of the PTA framework.

Minister for Public Works and Procurement, Mick de Brenni said Queensland is leading the charge on industry reform.

“In recognition of our commitment to full scheme operation and balancing the capacity of the industry at a challenging time, we are giving both tradies and builders certainty about the final phases of implementation,” said Minister de Brenni.

“We have always said this was not going to be a simple reform process, and that we won’t let prefect stand in the way of good – so whilst not ideal, in the current circumstances, this is the right thing to do.

“Subcontractors are especially vulnerable to payment delay or non-payment as they are at the end of the contractual supply chain.”

Minister de Brenni adds that while trust accounts have secured improved security of payment for tradies, regular evaluations show software providers haven’t kept pace with industry reform and need time to catch up.

“Larger contractors have been able to manage these challenges in house, whilst we’ve heard from smaller builders, they mostly use off-the-shelf solutions that aren’t quite there yet,” he said.

Starting now, a Steering Committee will engage a specialist to work with software providers to ensure a reasonably priced, and fit for purpose, solution is available to make compliance straight forward, especially for smaller companies.

What is a PTA?

A PTA is an account through which project payments are received and paid. A PTA is needed for all eligible construction contracts in Queensland. A separate PTA is required for each eligible contract.

Typically, a PTA is:

  • Paid into by the project owner or developer.
  • Managed by the head contractor.
  • The account from which all subcontractors are paid.
  • The account from which the head contractor pays themselves.

All other protections, including payment terms, reporting, and financial obligations (including existing Project Trust Account thresholds), will continue to require compliance and will be enforced by the building regulator.

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