May 2010 paper for the Society of Construction Law Australia Conference in Perth

Towards Harmonisation of Construction Industry Payment Legislation: A Consideration of the Success Afforded by the East and West Coast Models in Australia

Abstract

This article considers the success of the two distinct construction industry payment legislative models operating inAustralia– “East Coast” and “West Coast” – in achieving their objective of improving cash flow throughout the construction industry. Success parameters are identified by the authors – namely: the levels of justice afforded by the legislation, the administrative and legal burden generated by the legislation, and the impact of the legislation on the relationships between the contracting parties – which are used as a basis to discuss and compare the performances of the East and West Coast models. It is concluded that the West Coast model provides a more just dispute resolution process, generates less administrative and legal burden, and is more conducive towards establishing positive relationships between contracting parties. However, it is recognised that there is a need for more data to be gathered from construction industry stakeholders before any firm recommendations can start to be made as to the most appropriate conceptual framework and detail for a harmonised approach.

Towards Harmonisation of Construction Industry Payment Legislation: A Consideration of the Success Afforded by the East and West Coast Models in Australia