Building industry sharks risk securing govt tenders
BUILDERS wanting to do business with the State Government have been given a stark warning to conduct themselves with the highest integrity in all their dealings.
It came as the Palaszczuk Government continued the roll-out of its Building Industry Fairness Act legislation that sought to improve payment security for subcontractors and to clean up fraud and other illegal practices in Queensland's construction sector.
Businesses in the sector were able to secure Pre-Qualified Contractor status to put themselves in the frontline of State Government contracts.
However Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the government set high standards for those who sought to engage with it.
"Any business that engages in conduct that seeks to intentionally damage another business would put itself at odds with the stated objective in the Queensland Procurement Policy to do business with ethical suppliers," Mr de Brenni said.
"Businesses looking to exploit loopholes with the intent to injure other small businesses would be held in poor regard by our government - take that as a warning."
It's a warning that has put builders on notice that they risk their ability to secure future government work if they choose to use legal means to find loopholes to stall or avoid meeting contractual obligations.
And it came after the Premier earlier this week announced the start of work by a team of special investigators to expose building industry rip-offs that have left thousands of Queensland subcontractors out of pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in the past five years alone.
The extent of the problem has been revealed in the recent News Ltd Back Our Subbies series.
The Special Joint Taskforce headed by Justice John Byrne includes lawyers from the Department of Public Prosecutions, detectives from the Queensland Police Service fraud squad and Queensland Building and Construction Commission investigators.
They will conduct a forensic examination of the circumstances surrounding the failure of a number of major construction companies.
"Any individual who has engaged in illegal, fraudulent activity so they can rob subbies of their hard-earned money should be very worried right now," the Premier said.
"Every tradie deserves confidence they will be paid in full, on time, every time for the work they perform.
"As soon as the taskforce team collects enough evidence to support criminal charges, they will immediately refer the matter to the relevant prosecuting authorities.
"And any tradie who has been ripped off, those who have seen their businesses and families suffer from illegal and downright immoral conduct ... well, they deserve justice."