Project Bank Accounts replaced by new trust account framework
On 1 March 2021, the new trust account framework commenced, replacing project bank accounts. The new trust account framework:
- Requires only one project trust account to be established for each eligible contract, and a retention trust account if cash retentions are held. Only one retention trust account will be needed per contractor.
- Offers further protections for subcontractors by extending the range of work that will be covered by the project trust.
- Gives the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) an increased role in compliance and enforcement of the trust account framework.
Initially, the new framework applies to eligible government contracts valued between $1 million and $10 million (excluding GST) where the tender for the contract was released on or after 1 March 2021. Where there has been no tender process, the trust account framework applies to contracts entered into on or after 1 March 2021.
The trust account framework will be further implemented to eligible contracts as follows:
- 1 July 2021—government and Hospital and Health Services (HHS) building and construction contracts valued at $1 million or more.
- 1 January 2022— private sector, local government, statutory authorities’ and government-owned corporations’ building and construction contracts valued at $10 million or more.
- 1 July 2022— private sector, local government, statutory authorities’ and government-owned corporations’ building and construction contracts valued at $3 million or more.
- 1 January 2023— all eligible building and construction contracts valued at $1 million or more (full implementation).
If a head contractor is already operating a project bank account, or if a tender was released prior to 1 March 2021 and is eligible for a project bank account, the head contractor can opt to use the new trust account framework. In these circumstances, it is recommended the contractor discuss the matter with the principal for the contract to ensure the existing contractual arrangements are suitable.
More information about trust accounts, including transitioning to the new framework and guidance material is available on the QBCC website.
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