NSW pilots faster payments for small sub-contractors

Under a new pilot scheme to run until June 2021 small business sub-consultants can expect faster payment times from larger businesses that contract with some NSW government clients. Noting that direct contractors get paid by the government within 5 days, the pilot will require contractors to pay sub-contractors within 20 business days. It is hoped the pilot will lead to a NSW government wide policy. Read more here.

27 January 2021




With the recent changes to the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 members have questioned how fire safety certification is impacted by the new meaning of 'conflict of interest' detailed in the Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020. We note the NSW Fair Trading website says that a designer cannot certify their own design - see here.

Kristy is currently working through the issues and needs to hear from members working in fire safety and providing certification under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).

 5 November 2020


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SEEKING PARTICIPANTS for digital white card pilot

The NSW Government has a Digitising Trade Licensing program (a joint Service NSW, SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading initiative) seeking to produce an end-to-end digital experience for customers who apply for, or hold trade qualifications in NSW.

Noting that many Consult Australia members hold a general construction induction training card (white card) allowing them to enter construction sites - the NSW Government has asked us to participate in the pilot of the Digital White Card.

To be part of the trial, you must:

  • currently hold a white card, issued after 2011
  • hold a Digital Drivers Licence, available on the Service NSW application
  • be aged 18 or over.

If you’d like to be part of the pilot, please contact Sumeyra Ulker, Service NSW Project Manager by COB Friday 13 November 2020.


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Infrastructure NSW Guide - Timely Information on Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure NSW (INSW) has released a new guide recommending progressive release of project information to the public and industry. The guide acknowledges the balance between keeping the public and parliament informed with the need for budget and delivery programs to have well defined defined scope, design and risk analysis. INSW notes that premature determination and disclosure of cost and time estimates can be counterproductive for project teams, design professionals and construction contractors. The guide is available on INSW's website.




The NSW Building Commissioner has issued the first Prohibition Order under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020. This means that the developer involved is unable to obtain an occupation certificate until remediation works are complete. The Order is available on the NSW Fair Trading website and indicates that there are serious defects with the cladding, waterproofing and elevator installation. While the Order states that these defects are ‘attributable to defective design and/or defective or faulty workmanship’ the designer is not one of the parties required to be notified under the Act. We are keen to hear members experience with the OC audit process - contact Kristy to discuss.



New statutory duty of care

The NSW parliament has passed the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020. Many of the obligations in the Act cannot be realised until supporting regulations are made. However, the statutory duty of care within the Act is in force now. Any member undertaking work on buildings in NSW should make themselves aware of the statutory duty. Please let us know if you face any claims relying on this duty.



New Briefing Note on OC Audits

From 1 September 2020, under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 the NSW Building Commissioner can conduct building audits and issue stop work orders – including for a defect that is attributable to a design. The NSW Building Commissioner will stop the issuing of an occupation certificate where satisfied that the building is non-compliant. Members involved in building design should read our NSW OC Building Audits Briefing Note to understand the audit process and get tips on managing their contractual obligations. 



Concerns with WaterNSW new contract?

We recently met with WaterNSW to discuss the newest professional services contract published on the WaterNSW website here. The usual areas of concern were raised, including the adversarial nature of the contract, the liability framework and warranties. Consult Australia continues its engagement but needs more member feedback on their experience with WaterNSW. Please contact Kristy to provide your views.

5 November 2020



NSW School Curriculum Review

See our submission to the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report. Our response highlights the link between skill shortages in our industry and the need for strong performance and participation outcomes from STEM education curriculum. We encourage the NSW Government to consider opportunities to incorporate industry experiences into STEM education curriculum. 


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