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New protections for Western Australian subcontractors

A wave of subcontractors opportunities for the tunnel and station work packages will be released for the Cross River Rail project in the coming weeks.

Western Australia’s Small Business Commissioner will police the treatment of subcontractors on State Government projects under new legislation tabled in WA Parliament.

A unit will be set up to investigate corporate and government behaviour and will conduct random inquiries and targeted investigations based on tips or complaints from subcontractors.

The former Chair of Subcontractors WA, Louise Stewart, has urged other state governments to protect subcontractors from late or missed payments.

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“The WA government is a trailblazer in implementing statutory trusts but more needs to be done,” Stewart said.

Stewart said subcontractors, which make up around 82 per cent of the construction industry, have had to deal with late payment and high levels of non-payment.

She adds technology will play a crucial role in helping to implement the statutory trust requirements.

“WA’s new Security of Payment Act presents an opportunity to transform the dynamic, but it is not going to be achieved through legislation alone,” she said.

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