Building blocks to a better legal framework for construction sector

Adjunct Professor Philip Evans presents Attorney-General, The Honourable Michael Mischin MLC, with a copy of the 12-month statutory review.

4 November 2015

A significant report following the review of the Western Australian legislation that governs payment issues in the construction sector has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Office for evaluation following a 12-month statutory review by award-winning professor, Philip Evans.

Professor Evans is an Adjunct Professor and Sessional Lecturer in The University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Law, Fremantle.

“I am grateful to have been commissioned by the Attorney-General to undertake this important work in order to assess the operation and effectiveness of a major piece of legislation whose object is to provide for the rapid resolution of payment disputes in the construction sector,” Professor Evans said.

The report on the Construction Contracts Act WA (2004), consisting of some 150 pages, was recently submitted by Professor Evans to the Minister for Commerce and Attorney-General, The Honourable Michael Mischin MLC, who is now considering Professor Evans’ recommendations.

This is an important piece of legislation in WA as in addition to the provision of a rapid dispute resolution process by way of adjudication, it prohibits or modifies certain provisions in construction contracts and implies provisions in construction contracts about certain matters if there are no written provisions about the matters in the contracts.

The review has taken 12 months and involved extensive research into comparative legislation in the other states, and numerous meetings with all sectors of the construction industry, including a range of professional associations and the legal profession.

Professor Evans also received a large number of written submissions following his preparation and circulation of a Discussion Paper at the commencement of the review. His report also examined the role of the State Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Western Australia in reviewing determinations made under the Act.

Professor Evans has also been awarded the inaugural 2015 Practitioner Award for contribution to the professional development of others in dispute resolution by the newly-created Resolution Institute. The award was presented to Professor Evans at a ceremony in Perth on Friday 18 September 2015.

Professor Doug Hodgson, Dean of the School of Law, Fremantle, welcomed Professor Evans’ contribution to this significant piece of WA legislation.

“Professor Evans provides an outstanding example of how academic lawyers can make a very significant impact on law reform and public policy. I am confident that his review recommendations will produce positive outcomes for the sector,” Professor Hodgson said.

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;