New national contract standard released

A new national standard contract for road and bridgework construction has been released.

The standard aims to improve the efficiency of project delivery and reduce potential for contractual disputes.

Austroads and the Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) developed the new General Conditions of Contract Construction, titled National Capital Works 4 (NCW4).

Austroads Chief Executive Nick Koukoulas said NCW4 aims to create greater consistency in contractual conditions and clauses used by members.

Mr. Koukoulas said it was important to note that NCW4 is primarily for public sector use and ‘construct only’ contracts, with special conditions to be considered at the jurisdictional level.

“NCW4 adopts contemporary contract drafting practice and addresses legislation such as security of payment, personal property securities, GST and work health and safety,” Mr. Koukoulas said.

“As owners of NCW4, Austroads and APCC will be able to keep NCW4 current and relevant through annual reviews and industry consultation.”

APCC Executive Director Teresa Scott said the new standard would reduce the cost of doing business with government.

“NCW4 will mitigate the need for tenderers to seek legal advice regarding the myriad contract conditions currently in use,” Ms. Scott said.

“It will also be easier for contractors to transfer their skills and experience between jurisdictions.”

Ms. Scott said it is expected each state and territory will amend the NCW4 to address local legislation and policy.

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