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Directions to Rectify - New Timeframes Apply

By John Carey

24th February 2022

In late November 2021, the QBCC Act was amended to provide some welcome clarity about the operation of the Directions to Rectify (‘DTR’) regime in the QBCC Act.

Contractors should now be aware that if they are issued with a DTR the time for rectification stated in it should generally be 35 days. There may be some rare exceptions in urgent cases relating to health and safety or environmental protection.

Under Section 72 of the QBCC Act the Commission is able to direct a person who carried out building work to rectify it if it is defective or incomplete.  The QBCC Act sets out when a direction might be given and how long the QBCC must give to rectify the Work.

Prior to November last year the QBCC Act provided that the period stated in the DTR must be “the period prescribed by regulation” unless the QBCC was satisfied that the defect would cause substantial losses or pose a significant hazard to health and safety of the environment.

Until late last year the QBCC regulation did not prescribe any of these timeframes.

Therefore, there was concern raised as to whether DTRs issued by the QBCC from November 2019 were lawfully issued.  The result was that the Commission issued a halt to any further statutory notices regarding DTRs between November 2019 and November 2021. 

Contractors will be aware that the consequences of failing to comply with a DTR within the required timeframe can be severe.  At this stage it is unclear how the QBCC will deal with DTRs issued during November 2019 to November 2021 (if at all).

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