Date posted: 09/10/2023

Update on Queensland building industry trust account framework

Update on the implementation of the trust account framework from Queensland’s Department of Energy and Public Works.

In Brief

  • Trust accounts have been progressively introduced for Queensland’s building and construction industry
  • The building and construction industry continues to be impacted by market-wide challenges, therefore more time and work is needed
  • As a result, transition periods were extended for the remaining phases of trusts to meet the challenges

Trust accounts have been progressively introduced for Queensland building and construction industry contracts since 2018.

In March 2023, the government approved an extended transition period for the remaining phases of trusts for up to two years to allow more time for industry to prepare:

  • Phase 3 (eligible contracts of $3 million or more) to 1 March 2025
  • Phase 4 (eligible contracts of $1 million or more) to 1 October 2025 

Retention trust accounts will also apply throughout the contractual chain from this point.

The government acknowledges the building and construction industry continues to be impacted by market-wide challenges such as supply chain disruptions, skilled labour shortages, high demand and increased project costs. This is impacting industry readiness for the reforms.

The government is also aware challenges currently exist with accounting software capability and record keeping requirements. More time is needed for software providers to provide solutions that facilitate industry compliance.

There is a substantial body of work required to ensure the ongoing success and smooth operation of the framework. Key activities that are being delivered by the Department of Energy and Public Works (DEPW) under the workplan include:

  • Engaging with software providers to ensure a reasonably priced and fit for purpose solution is available to support industry compliance with the framework.
  • Developing a framework to support the uptake and provide assurance to industry of the suitability of market solutions.
  • Considering opportunities for legislative and regulatory simplification and clarification to ensure the effectiveness of the framework and fast-track software development.
  • Delivering enhanced communication and practical education to support industry awareness and readiness.

Over the coming 4-6 months, DEPW will be engaging with stakeholders across the industry and inviting feedback on ways to ensure the continued success of the trust account framework and to support industry readiness and cultural change.

We continue to engage with the DEPW and will share more developments over the coming months.

For more information, please refer to Department of Energy and Public Works Trust account framework and Queensland Building and Construction Commission Trust accounts.