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Subcontractors - Lodging a Complaint

How to lodge a complaint with Communities

In the first instance, subcontractors working on Communities-managed projects should speak to the Head Contractor of the project to seek resolution. If no resolution has been reached, you may lodge your complaint with Communities online.

What will Communities do?

When Communities receives your complaint through the online form, we will contact the Head Contractor and advise them of your complaint. The Head Contractor will then be required to provide Communities with a statutory declaration confirming that all  Subcontractors have been paid in full for work that has been satisfactorily completed. 

Communities may withhold payments to the Head Contractor until the statutory declaration has been received. Where Communities receives a statutory declaration that it reasonably believes may have been falsely made, the matter will be referred to the WA Police for investigation.

If there is a dispute between a Head Contractor and Subcontractor about whether the amounts claimed by a Subcontractor are actually due (eg. a dispute over whether the works were completed, the quality of work, or other works-related issues), Communities will refer you to seek independent legal advice or contact Building and Energy or the Small Business Development Corporation​, who may be able to provide resolution assistance.

Communities cannot force the Head Contractor to pay you and will not make direct payments to a Subcontractor where the Head Contractor has failed to do so. You should therefore still consider your own appropriate recovery actions.

Note: This information is general in nature and does not take into account specific events or circumstances. This information is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice.

What Communities can't do

It is important to be aware that Communities cannot intervene in contractual or monetary disputes between a Head Contractor and a Subcontractor. Although a Subcontractor may be working on a government project, there is no direct contractual relationship with the State Government and the contract remains between the Head Contractor and Subcontractor. 

In the event that enquiries do reveal evidence of a contractual dispute, Communities will inform you of this. In these instances, it is best to seek independent legal advice or contact Building and Energy or the Small Business Development Corporation​, who may be able to provide resolution assistance.


Subcontractor responsibilities

It is the responsibility of Subcontractors on construction projects to fully understand their rights and obligations concerning contracts, credit management, debt recovery and dispute resolution before entering into any subcontracting arrangements. 

The information outlined on this page is not legal advice. Subcontractors are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice of their rights and obligations. If the Head Contractor falls into financial difficulty, they may go into receivership, administration or liquidation, and Subcontractors may not receive payment.