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On 1 May 2015 the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Regulation 2008 was amended so that retention money held by head contractors is now required to be held in a certified trust account with an authorised deposit taking institution [Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment (Retention Money Trust Account) Regulation ].
The amendments to the Regulation apply to all contracts for projects valued at over $20 million and entered into on or after 1 May 2015. NSW Fair Trading are undertaking a full review of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 to consider whether the new retention scheme should be extended to include contracts for projects less than $20 million in value.
Administration of the new retention scheme will be undertaken by NSW Fair Trading. Head contractors are now required to set up trust accounts for the purposes of holding retention funds. Head contractors may face fines of up to $22,000 for failing to comply with the scheme. Under the scheme, head contractors must not withdraw retention money from a trust account except for the purpose of payment of money in accordance with the terms of the construction contract or as agreed between the head contractor and the subcontractor concerned.