SA Advocacy – June 2024 update

26 June 2024

Justin Cucchiarelli leads advocacy efforts in the ACA SA Committee, dedicated to representing practices in his state when engaging with the Department for Industry and Transport (DIT). Here, Justin offers a glimpse of recent advocacy work in South Australia.

The ACA SA engages regularly with the Department for Industry and Transport (DIT) to advocate for more equitable working arrangements. This is primarily done through the DIT Commercial Construction Industry Forum (DCCIF), which includes peak bodies representing different parts of the construction industry, and a subgroup representing lead and secondary consultants. At a high level we are working with DIT to try and improve payment times, project timeframes, consistency across process, and scope and budget alignment. Currently the ACA is working on the following issues:

PI Insurance

We are currently looking to remove direct engagement of sub-consultants who are not insurable under our PI Insurance, including those advising on hazardous materials such as asbestos and ACP.

Engagement of Secondary Consultants

We are also aiming to resolve the current issue where not all subconsultants have back-to-back insurance with the Lead Professional Services Contractor (LPSC). This is particularly evident with Fire Engineers and Certifiers/Building Rules advisors, creating a gap in the LPSC PI Insurance.

Part 3 Retention

DIT has recently introduced a 15% retention to all Part 3 Fees. There was limited communication in this regard and while it was noted that this item can be negotiated, there is no location to do so in the Fee Schedule. We have proposed an alternative amount of 4% of Part 3 fees, payable in four equal instalments, with additional fees chargeable where further prolongation of the final certificate (see below).


We are looking to manage how construction delays are approved with DIT. We are proposing an extension of the monthly rate until Practical Completion. We are also seeking additional fees for where rectification of defects extends past the DLP period, particularly where travel is required to ensure LPSCs are not left out of pocket.

Disbursements – Vehicle Costs

We are in the process of reconciling the kilometre rates for travel. Currently DIT pay is based on the ATO rate, which is less than the Architects Award rate that we pay our staff. There is consensus that DIT should pay in accordance with the Architects Award and Professional Employees Award (incorporating engineers).

Cascading Consultancies Guide Note

The recent adoption by DIT of Cascading Consultancies on smaller projects is a positive move and broadly welcomed by the ACA. We believe there are some outstanding items that can be improved, which are not in the current draft guide note. We have an upcoming meeting to discuss evaluation criteria, value for money, administration on-costs, probity, consistency and standard subcontract conditions and agreements. The requirement for back-to-back agreements with subconsultants and the general acceptance of the ACA professional services subconsultant agreement by Consult Australia and other organisations means ACA members can utilise this agreement as part of ACA’s free suite of agreements and contracts.

15-day payment terms

We are working with the AIA Practice Committee to consider the implications of the SA Government’s desire to pay invoices within 15 days. While this is welcome news, it leads to difficulties if the expectation is subconsultants are paid prior to lead consultants receiving the money from DIT. Delays in payments, particularly of variations, is still a major issue and further discussion with DIT is required.