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October Monthly Trusts Update

David Cahill
David Cahill November 14, 2021

It was great to see the COVID-19 lockdowns being relaxed around the country in October as vaccination rates rise and cases slowly diminish. The NSW lockdown that ended recently officially began on 26th June 2021 but it seems like only yesterday.

“Tempus fugit” said the ancient Greek poet, Virgil. It sure does and at the time of writing only 25 working days remain until the next phase of the rollout of the Project Trusts regime across the Queensland construction industry begins for private sector projects valued over $10million on 1st January 2022. In just over 7 months (1st July) this value drops to $3M when even large chook sheds will be covered.

Slowly but surely awareness is increasing that this major change to our industry can no longer be ignored. The Helix Compliance team have been on the road since our last update talking to a wide range of industry stakeholders and there’s clearly a lot of focus on getting commercial contracts valued over $10Million signed and locked away before 31 December.

The jury seems to have given its verdict on which form of Retention Trust bank account Builders are preferring to use: 75% of Builders undertaking Trusts are currently opting to maintain just one Retention Trust bank account across all their Trust projects instead of choosing to hold separate Retention Trust bank accounts for each project. This method will mean there’s only one bank account to manage and only one annual audit but will rely on really robust software systems and super-diligent Treasury teams.

The conversations we’ve had with Builders getting their heads around all the Trust requirements suggests there’s still confusion about key areas such as specific notices and the timing of when things must happen to comply with the Regulations. Education and training remains essential in order to get on top of the new Regime and at our next event on 1st December, “Trusts are a Reality, Are You Ready?”, we’ll be addressing the key issues stakeholders across the Industry need to consider.

The ‘sky isn’t going to fall in’ as some outsiders to the industry would have us think, we’re a resilient, tenacious bunch but it’s going to be a big distraction for back office and site administration teams.

 Let’s make sure they have the support to make a smooth transition. If you can’t come along on 1st December, please get in touch for a chat and we’ll have another update and in before Christmas!


Join us on Wednesday 1 December 2021 for an opportunity to hear from our Helix Compliance team about the implementation of the new statutory trusts regime. Who is required to establish Project Trust Accounts and Retention Trust Accounts? How will I be affected? When will I be affected? Are there penalties for non-compliance?


This event will feature our Helix Compliance crew. This team is led by Janelle Kerrisk, an experienced construction lawyer with specialist regulatory knowhow, Michael Chesterman, a former senior leader of the QBCC who brings an insider’s perspective, and David Cahill, a construction industry CFO armed with an in-depth knowledge of how building businesses run their books.

Click here to register.


Not intended as legal advice. Read full disclaimer.
David Cahill
David Cahill November 14, 2021

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