THE WA CODE OF CONDUCT: This past week has been a momentous week for WA small business contractors engaged in the Building and construction sector. Here it is, released Monday afternoon, 5 December 2017, the WA Building and Construction Industry Code of Conduct, will start on 1 January 2017. This is a significant initiative by the WA Government for small business contractors in the building and construction sectors.  The Government is to be highly commended for it.

It is of particular significance to small business that the WA Small Business Commissioner has an investigative and dispute mediation role in disputes between contractors and sub-contractors and can refer possible breaches of code to the compliance unit. In our judgment this represents a massive leap forward for small businesses in comparison to federal code

Significant features of code setting it apart and above the federal code:

a) Starts 1 Jan 2017 with immediate effect in the industry. Note the media release says there will be nine major projects requiring compliance by end Jan 2017. (ie) no 2 year delay as per Fed code. The WA code effectively negates the bad parts of the federal code.

b) Required compliance with unfair contract provisions both of the Independent Contractors Act and the Australian Consumer law. Huge breakthrough for subbies in WA.

c) Requirement for timely payment of subbies. Probably similar to Fed code.

d) WA Small Business Commissioner has investigative and dispute mediation role in disputes between contractors and subbies and can refer possible breaches of code to compliance unit. Again a massive leap forward for subbies in comparison to fed code.

WA has broken new ground by creating a code with big emphasis on looking after the small business subbies…the ones who always get screwed over by big contractors in bed with unions.

Cabinet has approved the implementation of the Western Australian Building and Construction Industry Code of Conduct 2016.

Copied below is Robert Gottliebsen’s report on the Code, published in The Australian, December 6, 2016 under the heading ‘WA’s line in the construction sand is a win for subcontractors’.

Below is the link to the official media statement and a link to the internet page for your information.

PAYROLL TAX: With the State election on the horizon the campaign, of which CoSBA is a part, for payroll tax relief has commenced, we have written to Colin Barnett, Mark McGowan, Brendon Grylls, with copies for Mike Nahan Treasurer, Ben Wyatt Shadow Treasurer, Sean L’Estrange Minister for Small Business, Kate Doust Shadow Minister for Small Business seeking their respective parties’ committed policy on pay roll tax for small business that they will be taking to the forthcoming election.

And stating, notwithstanding, that the Premier said at a Swan Chamber breakfast in Midland on 21.11.16: “There wouldn’t be a person here who didn’t want to see payroll tax reduced let alone abolished because it’s a tax on jobs and small business but that’s realistically not going to happen”, we would urge the Premier to rethink his stated position and focus on the needs and aspirations of small business. And, seeking early responses from each.