News & Views

18th April 2017

Faster Building Code transition great for sub-contractors

08 Feb 2017

NECA has responded positively to reports that Senator Derryn Hinch has re-evaluated his position on landmark legislation governing the construction sector.

This may result in a reduction in the transition period for compliance with the Building Code 2016, from two years to the originally conceived nine months, and also require businesses to be compliant with the Code in order to be deemed eligible to be awarded federal government contracts.

“These changes would be a great outcome for our members, many of whom are Australian small-to medium-enterprises (SMEs) – small family owned and run businesses,” said NECA Chief Executive Officer Suresh Manickam.

“The Building Code 2016 provides sub-contractors with vital protections, including in respect of freedom of association, coercion and security of payment.”

“It would also assist in raising productivity and creating more jobs in the building and construction sector, while reducing industrial threats and disputes.”

“Senator Hinch has cited conversations with sub-contractors and SMEs in the construction industry as the catalyst for re-assessment. The Senator should be commended for listening to Australian sub-contractors and having the courage to publicly change his position as a result.”

“We call on the government to expedite these changes.”

“NECA also calls on the government to consider granting the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) the power to sanction and / or exclude from federal government contracts head contractors who have repeatedly failed to make payments or return retention money within the specified time to sub-contractors.” 

“Electrical contractors are often the last in the line of credit to receive payment for work completed, in the event of a construction firm facing financial difficulties.  In cases where the company falls into receivership, electrical contractors often do not receive payment at all.” 

“Electrical contractors arguably provide the highest value inputs of all sub-contractors by way of fixtures, fittings and labour.  They are therefore the most vulnerable with respect to payments in the event of receivership.  In other words, electrical contractors are at a greater potential disadvantage than any other sub-contractor.”

“In this way, the government can set a good example for the construction industry more broadly.” 


Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications


D 02 9962 6904

M 0457 767 328


Policy enquiries

Andrew Jefferies – Policy and Projects


D 02 9439 8523


Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its RTOs and GTOs in NSW, VIC & WA, the EcoSmart Electricians initiative and ACRS – one of the national cabling registrars, and has a joint venture with a superannuation company in NSW (NESS Super).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to


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