Louise Stewart, former Chair of Subcontractors WA has urged other state governments to step up after a change in a WA bill to protect subcontractors from late or missed payments.
The Small Business Commissioner under new legislation tabled in WA Parliament yesterday will police the treatment of subcontractors on State Government projects.
A unit will be set up to investigate corporate and government behaviour and will conduct random inquiries and targeted investigations based on tips or complaints from subcontractors.
Mrs. Stewart said subcontractors, which make up around 82 per cent of the construction industry, have had to deal with late payment and high levels of non-payment.
“The WA government is a trailblazer in implementing statutory trusts but more needs to be done,” Mrs. Stewart said.
She has advocated for fairer treatment of subcontractors for more than two years and worked with WA Attorney General John Quigley.
Mr. Quigley was an active participant of the WA State Government’s Industry Advisory Group, which resulted in the Fiocco Reports and recommendations.
Mrs. Stewart said technology will play a crucial role in helping to implement the statutory trust requirements.
“WA’s new Security of Payment Act presents an opportunity to transform the dynamic, but it is not going to be achieved through legislation alone,” she said.
Mrs. Stewart has created ProjectPAY, a payment platform aimed at subcontractors to help protect their payments.
She said the solution has been developed in accordance with proposed new trust legislation in WA.
It will immediately flag late payments. Mrs. Stewart said it will link to the low-cost adjudication services being introduced to WA at the end of the year.