Construction—Australia—Q&A guide
Construction—Australia—Q&A guide

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Construction—Australia—Q&A guide
  • 1. If a foreign designer or contractor wanted to set up an operation to pursue the local market, what are the key concerns they should consider before taking such a step?
  • 2. Must foreign designers and contractors be licensed locally to work and, if so, what are the consequences of working without a licence?
  • 3. Do local laws provide any advantage to domestic contractors in competition with foreign contractors?
  • 4. What legal protections exist to ensure fair and open competition to secure contracts with public entities, and to prevent bid rigging or other anticompetitive behaviour?
  • 5. If a contractor has illegally obtained the award of a contract, for example by bribery, will the contract be enforceable? Are bribe-givers and bribe-takers prosecuted and, if so, what are the penalties they face? Are facilitation payments allowable under local law?
  • 6. Under local law, must employees of the project team members report suspicion or knowledge of bribery of government employees and, if so, what are the penalties for failure to report?
  • 7. Is the making of political contributions part of doing business? If so, are there laws that restrict the ability of contractors or design professionals to work for public agencies because of their financial support for political candidates or parties?
  • 8. Is a construction manager or other construction professional acting as a public entity’s representative or agent on a project (and its employees) subject to the same anti-corruption and compliance as government employees?
  • 9. Are there any other important legal issues that may present obstacles to a foreign contractor attempting to do business in your jurisdiction?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to construction rights in Australia published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2020).

Authors: Holding Redlich—Scott Alden; Victoria Gordon; Andrew Morello

1. If a foreign designer or contractor wanted to set up an operation to pursue the local market, what are the key concerns they should consider before taking such a step?

Before starting a business in Australia in the construction industry, it is important to know about the relevant legislation, licences and permits, and other business requirements.

Some of the key concerns to be aware of include (but are not limited to):

  1. construction industry-specific legislation, standards and regulations, including the

  2. required licences and permits, such as building permits and development applications;

  3. taxation laws, including the goods and services tax and taxable payments reporting requirements;

  4. security of payment laws relevant to one

  5. state-specific work health and safety laws; and

  6. insurance requirements, including professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance.

2. Must foreign designers and contractors be licensed locally to work and, if so, what are the consequences of working without a licence?

Foreign construction professionals must hold the relevant Australian licences and qualifications to perform construction work in Australia. For construction professionals who have acquired their skills and experience overseas, the recognition of prior learning programmes offers an avenue to have

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