Each state and territory government has implemented its own legislation, which can broadly be divided into two approaches – the east coast model and the west coast model. In December 2016, the Federal Government appointed John Murray AM to conduct a review of the various state acts, consult with stakeholders and identify areas of best practice for the construction industry. In May 2018, the final report, "Review of Security of Payment Laws: Building Trust and Harmony" was released (Murray Review).
The Murray Review makes a number of recommendations, namely that the security of payment legislation across the country be harmonised in line with the east coast model. Further recommendations include:
introduction of a Regulator with responsibility for the registration and grading of adjudicators, the power to prescribe the form of a payment schedule and additional information, and the publication of annual reports on the operation and effectiveness of the legislation
removing the Victorian carve-outs regime under which specific claims can be excluded from the operation of the legislation
broadening the application of the legislation to include the residential housing sector
abandoning the term 'reference date' and instead providing that a payment claim can be made for every named month or more frequently if provided for under the contract, and in the case of termination, enabling a payment claim to be made up to the date of termination.
Introduction to project insurance
Project insurance, sometimes referred to as construction works insurance, is insurance that covers a specific project by reference to the construction contract. Generally, project insurance covers damage to the permanent or temporary works and equipment on the construction site and third party injury or property damage. The policy may be taken out by either the principal or the contractor, and generally covers any subcontractors working on the site. Depending on the construction contract, the policy may be held jointly by the principal, the contractor and any third party, such as the financier of the project.