G’day Mates,

We are finally easing out of the longest and most severe lockdown of any city in the world.

The effect on individuals, families, communities, businesses and nations has been unprecedented.

 Many businesses have not been able to trade and been forced to stand down or retrench staff.

Sadly, as a result of circumstances totally out of their control, a large number of businesses have not survived and staff left without jobs.  

As an Industry we have been indeed fortunate that throughout all but 2 weeks of the pandemic we have been able to continue working.

It has been a tough 18 months, but we should all feel proud of the way we adapted to restricted numbers on site, Covid plans, vaccination requirements, price increases and product shortages.

A number of Mates have raised the very real issue of the effect of product shortages and huge price rises. Profit margins are being eroded and build times extended whilst fixed costs and overheads continue unabated

Our strong advice is to communicate regularly with your clients, and do not hesitate to complete EOT (extension of time) to avoid any possibility of liquidated damages due to exceeding completion date.

Recovering from price rises is a more difficult problem. RBN has worked closely with our Mates at MST Lawyers to investigate the possibility of including a cost escalation clause in our Domestic Building Contract for builds under $500,000. The law states that you can only include a cost escalation clause if the contract value is over $500,000 and the client has signed acknowledgement. 

We are still working on this but have to admit, changing laws is a long and tough process.

On a very positive note, the industry has never been busier, and all indications are that the end of year rush will be more intense than ever. A good chance to select jobs wisely and ensure good margins are achieved.

As we return to the “New Normal post COVID-19 life”, let’s hope lockdowns are behind us and we can enjoy catching up with family and friends, eating out, travelling and enjoying some freedom.

There will undoubtedly be further challenges ahead, but we’ll deal with those as they arise.

The Team at RBN are always available to assist, and if we can’t we‘ll find the best person/company to provide the needed support.

For now, thanks and enjoy!

You are a Mate, and we have your back!



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