When the Security of Payment Act started in New South Wales 14 years ago its stated purpose was made clear in the then Minister for Public Works Morris Iemma’s second reading: "It is all too frequently the case that small subcontractors, such as bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers, do not get paid for their work.

Many of them cannot survive financially when that occurs, with severe consequences to themselves and their families…The [New South Wales] Government is determined to rid the construction industry of such totally unacceptable practices.” As adjudication determinations began to be made under the Act, it became clear pretty quickly that claimants…