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How will the removal of the head contractor exemption in Queensland affect construction work?

Head contractor licensing reforms in Queensland have been postponed to July 2022 and will have a significant impact on construction work in the state.

If you are currently working with/for a construction company, or own a property development company and don’t have a QBCC licence, continue reading.

What are the current licensing requirements under the QBCC Act?

The QBCC Act commonly requires that an entity or individual need a suitable QBCC licence to carry out construction work.

Reforms to the Act in 2013 allowed unlicensed head contractors and property developers to contract out construction work to licensed subcontractors, and therefore be exempt from the penalties usually associated with doing unlicensed building work in Queensland.

When are the exemptions being removed?

The Queensland parliament passed legislation in 2020 to remove the head contractor licensing reforms, which was due to commence on July 24, 2021. But this has been postponed to July 24, 2022.

What does this mean for head contractors and property developers?

If you are a head contractor or a property developer, you should strongly consider obtaining a QBCC licence to ensure you are able to carry out construction work. It also worth reviewing contracts and documents to study what, if any, “building work” is included and if you need to make any changes.

What does this mean for subcontractors?

If you are a subcontractor, you should consider whether head contractors hold an appropriate QBCC licence prior to undergoing any building work together. The changes will essentially mean: no licence, no pay.

How to get qualified?

Becoming a licensed builder in Queensland will require you to meet technical requirements, such as industry experience and qualifications, and a range of character assessments.

If you need to complete an online building course to ensure you meet the technical requirements to obtain a QBCC licence, get in touch to discuss your options.

Source: QBCC, McCollough Robertson