The maximum payment period for payments from a principal to a head contractor remains unchanged at 15 business days after a payment claim is made.
Payment claims allowed following termination
The amendments introduce a statutory entitlement for a claimant to serve a payment claim on and from the date of termination.
This change clarifies when payment claims can be served following termination, which is a topic that has been addressed in many courts including the High Court.
Withdrawal of adjudication application
The amendments clarify that a claimant can withdraw the adjudication application before the adjudicator is appointed or, if an adjudicator has been appointed, before the application is determined. The respondent may object to the withdrawal if the adjudicator has already been appointed, in which case it will be for the adjudicator to decide whether to uphold the objection.
Severance of a challenged adjudication determination
A new SOPA section will allow the Supreme Court to set aside an adjudicator's determination in whole or in part if it finds that a jurisdictional error has occurred. This amendment will mean that a minor error does not invalidate the whole adjudicator's decision.
The amendments confirm that insolvent parties can no longer serve a payment claim.
This resolves recent tension between Victoria and NSW's positions on this issue. The NSW Court of Appeal recently concluded that the Victoria Court of Appeal's position on the availability of security of payment legislation to insolvent parties was "plainly wrong".
Code of practice for authorised nominating authorities
The amendments allow the NSW building minister to publish a code of practice, to be observed by authorised nominating authorities.
Tom Heading, Chris Zhang and Nicola Macrow are construction law experts at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.