A statutory review of the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund (BCITF) and Levy Collection Act 1990 was recently tabled in Western Australian State Parliament with 22 recommendations.
Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, said, “The Government’s response builds on our commitment to ensure that all industries undertaking building and construction work contribute to the training and development of the state’s construction workforce.”
The review started in January 2019 and was chaired by the late John Kobelke followed by Jim Walker, the chairperson of the State Training Board, who completed the review in October 2019.
The Construction Training Fund (CTF) administers the BCITF levy on construction projects to support the training of eligible people in the building and construction industry. The levy is 0.2 per cent of the value of construction and applies to all works that meet the definition of construction as prescribed in the Act.
The review included consideration of resource sector construction work following the removal of that sector’s exemption from the levy from 01 October 2018.
The review found that although BCITF effectively supports construction training, there were several recommendations to enhance the operation of both the Act and the CTF.
The State Government has approved three tranches of work as well as another tranche to refer certain matters to the next statutory review in 2024.
There will be a two-staged approach to implement recommendations that require legislative change with tranche one including immediate legislative change to allow project owners to pay down the assessed levy, where the assessed levy is over $1 million, in either of two ways:
- Yearly instalments on a pro-rata basis over the life of the construction work
- Over another period as agreed to by the Minister, taking into consideration any advice from the BCITF Board.
Payment by instalments will apply to construction work exceeding $500million in value.
“Major construction projects are vital to the growth of Western Australia’s economy and the creation of jobs,” Ms Ellery said.
“The Government’s response is expected to provide project owners with confidence to move ahead with these projects.
“These improvements to the Act will ensure that the Construction Training Fund is well placed to continue to support the development of our highly skilled construction workforce and increase training opportunities for construction workers across the state.”
Other stage one legislative changes include the expansion of the BCITF Board to include two additional members with expertise in both minerals and petroleum construction work; and to place a limit of ten years on the continuous service of members on the Board.
Stage two will deal with six other recommendations for legislative change which require further investigation. Several recommendations relating to operational matters of the CTF have been referred to the Board for a response and report back to the Minister.
Matters raised in recommendations relating to the operation of the Act with respect to the resource sector, including the proposal to introduce a cap on the capital value of a single construction project, have been referred to the next statutory review in 2024 to allow more time to assess their implications.