The stalled National Buildplan unit block project at Mater Christi, Toormina.
The stalled National Buildplan unit block project at Mater Christi, Toormina. Trevor Veale/Coffs Coast Advocate

Long overdue protection for sub-contracted tradesmen

THE State Government has responded to the latest building company collapse by moving to introduce greater protection for builders and sub-contractors.

As creditors of National Buildplan were briefed by administrators BRI Ferrier in Sydney, the O'Farrell Government announced it had agreed to act on a number of recommendations contained in the Collins Report, which followed an inquiry into company collapses.

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser gave evidence to the inquiry.

Mr Fraser spoke of the devastating impact the collapse of Perle and St Hilliers had on local sub-contractors working on public housing projects in 2011.

"I am very pleased that the Minister for Finance, Greg Pearce, has agreed to a number of recommendations, including the setting up of a trust fund scheme to protect retention sums, and the introduction of legislation to improve payment practices in the building industry to ensure sub-contractors receive prompt payments," Mr Fraser said.

"Additionally, I am very pleased that government construction contracts will be subject to reform, as this is a matter I have been urging for some time.

"The minister is to be congratulated for ensuring that NSW will be the first state to set up a trust fund scheme to protect retention sums, which is to be administered by the Office of the Small Business Commissioner."

The Collins Report recommendations can be found at www.services.nsw.gov.au.



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