Developers in the spotlight – is licensing the next step?

The Qld Building Plan was released in 2017 and updated in 2021.

In examining the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2020, the TPWPC (committee) stated that developers are not subject to the same requirements of contractors and subcontractors in terms of regulations, licensing, trust accounts, building quality and safety and recommended a review of the role of developers.

The government then formed the Developer Review Panel to conduct that review.

On 2 November 2022, Panel released its discussion paper in respect of the role of property developers operating in Queensland.

The paper raises several possible reforms for developers which include:


A licensing regime for property developers, with similar entry requirements to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licensing framework.

Code of conduct

An industry code of conduct to be the government, an independent body, or the building practitioner industry.

Developer ranking system

The introduction of a developer ranking system, which would rank developers based on a prescribed list of principles or behaviours, potentially like NSW. Disclosure arrangements.

Disclosure from a principal to a head contractor before entering a contract for development activity, including such matters as land ownership and other assets, finance arrangements and compliance with health and safety and other legislation.

Expansion of project trust accounts

Extending the project trust requirements to developers and requiring developers to quarantine funds for specific projects.

Standard contracts

The Panel has raised an option to be considered whereby the terms of contracts are reviewed in a Queensland context to ensure they are applicable and fit for purpose.


The introduction of mechanisms to ensure superintendents act in a fair and reasonable manner, including precluding superintendents from acting as an agent of the principal.

Mandatory inspections

The number of mandatory inspections during construction could be increased to enhance the oversight surrounding the construction of class 2 – 9 buildings. Another option that is raised is for the QBCC to conduct ‘certificate of occupancy’ audits based on a similar process in NSW to assess building work before a certificate of occupancy is granted.

Additional insurance

The introduction of insurance for consumers (such as decennial liability insurance, which is being implemented in NSW) to limit the exposure of owners in residential apartment buildings that have experienced defects following completion of the building.


The Paper is open for public comment until 16 December 2022. After this, the Panel will provide its final report to the government.


This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader’s specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances, please contact one of the named individuals listed.

Key contacts:

Stephen Pyman – Director




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