The BIF Act – Chapter 2, Project Bank Accounts hidden changes #1

The most recent changes to the BIF Act 2017 and Regulation included some changes which have gone relatively unnoticed. Most are innocuous but some have significant ramifications.

Project Bank Account:

Additional penalties have been included – s34A(1), 36A, 36B(1) & 36C.

. s34A(1) – head contractors withdrawing retention with cause – 300 penalty units;
. 36A – head contractors failure to identify disputed funds is identifiable as being held for beneficiary – 100 penalty units;
.s36B(1) – head contractor’s withdrawal from disputed funds without cause – 300 penalty points
. 36C – head contractor’s failure to return or withdraw disputed funds – 50 penalty points

The restriction previously imposed on penalty units in the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Regulation 2018 – Subordinate Legislation 2018 No.16 – s16(9), which limited the maximum penalties imposed for certain infringement notice offences, has been repealed.

As a consequence, parties are potentially liable for the maximum penalties under the Chapter 2 of the BIF Act 2017. The current value of a penalty unit is $130.55 for an individual and up to five times that for a corporation. Fines range from a maximum of $6,527.50 to $65,275.00 for individuals and $32,637.50 to $326,375.00 for corporations.

All the more reason to make sure the administration of the PBA is strictly in accordance with the BIF Act 2017.

For a detailed listing of the penalties under Chapter 2 follow the link: