Forecast for 2021 – QBCC penalties for non-payment

Under section 157 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) the QBCC Commissioner must review and report on the operation of Chapter 3 of the BIF Act.  These reporting obligations include investigations undertaken and penalty notices issued by the QBCC under:

  • section 76 of the BIF Act – concerning responses to payment claims (and more recently payment of scheduled amounts by the due date); and
  • section 90 of the BIF Act – concerning payment of adjudicated amounts by the due date.

In the last Commissioner’s annual report for 2019-2020 released in September 2020, it is reported that the QBCC commenced:

  • 81 investigations for breaches of section 76 (failure to respond to a claim) and issued 12 penalty notices for contraventions of Section 76.
  • 55 investigations for breaches of Section 90 (failure to pay an adjudicated amount) and issued 14 penalty notices for contraventions of Section 90.

During 2020-2021, it is likely that the QBCC investigations will be on the rise, in part due to the new civil penalty provisions introduced in the BIF Act in the second half of 2020, including those under section 75 (payment claims to be issued with an accompanying supporting statement), and the addition to section 76 (payment of scheduled amounts by the due date for payment).  These new provisions will be the subject of the Commissioner’s annual report in the second half of 2021.

Given that more avenues now exist for QBCC investigation, there is a greater potential for an increase in the number of penalty notices issued. Do not be one of the few that are caught out. The due date for payment under some contracts is not always easy to determine, valid payment claims are not always easy to identify and a compliant supporting statement is not always straight forward to prepare.  Where in doubt, contact us at Construct Law Group.

Should you require advice on how these amendments may affect your contracts, please contact our experienced team at Construct Law Group on (07) 3139 1874 or email us at

This article is provided for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should obtain appropriate independent legal advice based on their own specific circumstances.