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Payment has always been at the heart of construction contracting, and payment disputes have been—and remain—at the centre of construction law case law. This subject aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the contractual procedures for payment and associated issues such as set-off. Its major focus is upon the ‘security of payment’ reforms of recent years. This state and territory-based legislation was designed to simplify the payment stream and disputation yet, in practice, has spawned hundreds of court cases, further complicating the contracting landscape for construction projects. The lecturers are based in the two states that have been at the forefront of the reforms—Queensland and New South Wales—and are therefore well-placed to guide students through this area of law.
Principal topics include:
- Payment processes under construction contracts, including treatment under standard forms and the impact of the security of payment legislation enacted in various jurisdictions
- History and policy underpinnings of the security of payment legislation, including comparison of the regimes in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand
- Processes to resolve payment disputes, including those under security of payment legislation (with detailed consideration of bases for judicial review of such processes)
- Associated issues, including set-off, securing payment to workers and subcontractors, and means of dealing with the consequences of late payment.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal, commercial and technical aspects which relate to payment in construction projects
- Have enhanced their expert and specialised cognitive and technical skills required to practise as interdisciplinary professionals in the construction industry
- Be familiar with, be able to critically reflect on, and be confident in applying, means of promoting efficiency in payment processes under construction contracts
- Be able to demonstrate the analytical and communication skills required to independently investigate, examine and synthesise existing and emerging legal issues relating to payment in construction projects.
Last updated: 2 December 2019