Your selected location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. HHG Articles
  4. /
  5. Litigation
  6. /
  7. Security of Payment Reform Bill – Reintroduced
27 May 2021

Building and Construction and Dispute Resolution Special Counsel, Daniel Morris, and Director, Murray Thornhill discuss how a security of payment reform Bill has been reintroduced, and what likely measures will be implemented if the Bill is passed.

Security of Payment Reform Bill - Reintroduced

This week has seen the Unions weigh into the debate about civil and construction insolvency in the aftermath of the Pindan Construction collapse.

This is hardly surprising given the 68 unfinished projects and over 500 civil and construction contractors employed on Pindan sites across Western Australia as we reported last week.

However, civil and construction insolvencies are nothing new, having a history of parliamentary reports and calls to action from both sides of politics, spanning almost three decades. The most recent of these, a report by Western Australian Barrister, John Fiocco, has resulted in a security of payment reform Bill being tabled in Western Australia’s legislature.

The Bill was introduced to the WA legislature on 23 September 2020 but intervening events, including a recent State election, has delayed its progress. We are pleased to have seen it announced yesterday that the Bill has finally been reintroduced and are hopeful of its quick passage through Parliament, having gone through a third reading in the Upper House on 11 November 2020.

If passed, the Bill will implement some of the anti-insolvency measures recommended by Mr Fiocco: notably, the use of trust accounts to protect subcontractors’ retention monies and measures for their earlier release. Other proposed measures appear in the Bill, including some of the Personal Property Securities Act protections recommended in an International Construction Law Review (ICLR) publication by our Daniel Morris.

Such measures aside, it is clear that the Bill’s main emphasis is on accelerating cashflows and reducing barriers to payment recovery such as unfair time bars and adjudication technicalities. The Bill may thus be seen as more concerned with improving the payment practices of solvent principals and contractors than with protecting civil and construction contractors against insolvency.

Anecdotally, many in civil and construction contracting have brushed off concerns about the effects of insolvency, saying they have ways and means to absorb these occasional shocks provided they get paid on time, every time by their solvent principals. However, in the wake of Pindan and other recent construction contractor-insolvencies, it may be time to re-evaluate the importance of insolvency protections for civil and construction contractors.

Our team are highly skilled and experienced in advising on all aspects of civil and construction, insolvency and debt recovery. Contact us today if you need advice or representation in this area.

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"

Sitka Pil

My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"

Nathan Lynch

"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."

Jim Goodwin

"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"

Dr Lana Bell

"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."

Jan Atkinson

"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."

Lynette Livesey

"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."

Nigel Plowman, Director at McKinley Plowman & Associates

"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."

Richard Beal, Director at BDO

"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."

Michael Malone, Founder of iiNet

"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."

Bernice Climie

"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve Harvey and Jane Powell

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."

Amanda Williamson

"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."

Kerry Samson

"I had a fantastic lawyer in Anne Hurley. She helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Anne"

Graeme Hammond

"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."

Carolin Grimm - Marine Plant Systems

"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."

Rosslyn Tasker - COO AltusQ Pty Ltd

"Good service you can count on."

Miles Lee

"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."

Mark Armitage

"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Anne."

Jacques Taylor

"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."

Tony Walker

Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.