Historically the building and construction industry has been burdened with dispute, including dispute regarding payment for work that has been completed. With this in mind, it is important to understand the implications of licensing on the outcome of such a dispute.
A 2006 decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal on the matter of Cant Contracting v Casella clearly illustrated that any builder without the appropriate licensing may not pursue payment through the rapid adjudication regime of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (BCIPA). In subsequent cases this same principle has been extended to include subcontractor undertaking work on behalf of a builder, lacking appropriate licences.
A decision issued by the supreme court in relation to the case of Queensland Engineering & Electrical v Agripower Australia in September has now extended this ‘no licence, no pay’ principle to include electricians and unregistered engineers.
Essentially the argument behind the principle is that without the appropriate licensing, the contract is void and thus pursuing action to obtain payment is not possible other than by a statutory quantum merit claim in court or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. These are expensive and often very drawn out.
If you have any questions regarding construction licensing and disputes or would like to book a consultation, please feel free to contact me at Allyson@gpla.com.au or by calling 07 5444 1022.