Recent changes to the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld) (QBSA Act) and Queensland Building Services Authority Regulation 2003 (Qld) (QBSA Regulations) give relief to contractors who do not have a QBSA licence.

New exemptions regarding the requirement to have a licence when carrying out building work

If you carry out building work for which you are not appropriately licensed, you would be entitled to full payment for that work and you could not claim under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA).  

Changes to the QBSA Act now mean that:

  • an unlicensed subcontractor that carries out building work for a contractor that holds the appropriate class of licence under the QBSA Act is not in breach of the Act
  • an unlicensed contractor that enters into a contract to carry out building work does not breach the QBSA Act if the work is carried out by an appropriately licensed subcontractor, and the work is not residential construction work or domestic building work.

The QBSA Act changes commence on 1 December 2013.

Work that is now not considered ‘building work’ under the Regulations

New Regulations have recently come into force to make it clear that the following will not be considered building work under the QBSA Act (and therefore do not require a licence):

  • the construction, extension, repair or replacement of a water reticulation system, sewerage system or stormwater drain, other than works connecting a building to a mains
  • the construction, maintenance or repair of a road or a tunnel for a road, including an area of land developed, or to be developed, for the public use of driving or riding of motor vehicles, other than a driveway to a private property.
The new Regulations concerning building work have already commenced.

What this means for contractors and subcontractors

If you are a subcontractor, a QBSA licence will not be required for carrying out building work as long as the head contractor holds the appropriate QBSA licence for that work. In this case you will remain entitled to full payment for work completed and you will still have rights under BCIPA.

If you are a contractor, a QBSA licence will not be required for building work which forms part of your scope of work as long as you engage an appropriate licensed subcontractor to carry out the building work (unless the work is residential construction or domestic building work). In this case you will remain entitled to full payment for work completed and you will still have rights under BCIPA.

If you wish to discuss anything in this article or in relation to the amendments to the QBSA Act, please contact us.

Author: Scott Lambert



Troy Lewis, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0614

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.    


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