The ABCC commenced legal action against Big Li Ceiling Pty Ltd in September 2018 following its repeated failure to cooperate with the ABCC during an audit of the company’s payment of employee wages and entitlements.
At the time of the ABCC audit, Big Li Ceiling was a code covered entity under the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Cth) (Code).
On 18 February 2020, the Federal Circuit Court found Big Li Ceiling twice contravened section 77 of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) by failing to comply with two separate notices that required it to produce records or documents relating to the ABCC’s investigation.
The Court imposed a penalty of $18,900 on Big Li Ceiling and $3,780 on its director Mr Yiting Li. The company and Mr Li were also ordered to pay the ABCC’s legal costs of $24,284.72.
Publication of contraventions
His Honour Judge Street found that:
- Big Li Ceiling Pty Ltd (ACN 605 363 102) contravened section 77(3) of the BCIIP Act, a civil penalty provision, by failing to comply with:
- a notice issued by an ABCC Inspector on 24 August 2017 under section 77(1) of the BCIIP Act; and
- a second notice issued by an ABCC Inspector on 2 October 2017 under section 77(1) of the BCIIP Act.
- Mr Yiting Li, Director of Big Li Ceiling, was knowingly concerned in, aided, abetted, counselled or procured on each of Big Li’s contraventions described above and, by virtue of that conduct, Mr Yiting Li also contravened sections 92(1) and 77(3) of the BCIIP Act, which are both civil penalty provisions.
Big Li Ceiling is a Code covered entity. By failing to comply with section 77(3) of the BCIIP Act as described above, Big Li Ceiling also breached section 9(1) of the Code, which requires that a Code covered entity must comply with the BCIIP Act and all designated building laws that apply to the entity.
By failing to pay the civil penalties imposed by the Court by the due date, Big Li Ceiling also breached section 9(5)(b) of the Code, which requires that a Code covered entity must comply with a decision, direction or order made or given by a court.
Big Li Ceiling’s registered office and registered principal place of business is:
33 Kingisland Loop
Mr Yiting Li was entered onto the National Personal Insolvency index on 6 December 2019.
Reason for publication
Section 108 of the BCIIP Act provides that:
If the ABC Commissioner considers that it is in the public interest to do so, the ABC Commissioner may publish details of:
- non‑compliance with the Building Code, including the name of the person who has failed to comply; and
- non‑compliance by a building industry participant with this Act or designated building laws, including the name of the participant who has failed to comply.
The ABCC believes the actions of Big Li Ceiling and its director Mr Yiting Li warrant publication in the public interest to:
- ‘call out’ behaviour that constitutes serious Code breaches;
- deter others from similar non-compliant conduct; and
- enable building industry participants to make informed decisions about who they choose to engage to perform building work.
Big Li Ceiling remains registered with ASIC, however it is no longer actively trading and has no related entities. Given these circumstances, the ABC Commissioner has elected to publish a notice of contravention in the public interest. The ABC Commissioner has determined a referral to the Attorney-General with a recommendation that Big Li Ceiling be excluded from Commonwealth funded building work is not viable in the circumstances of this matter.
Further, the need to deter a repeat of this unlawful conduct by both Big Li Ceiling and Mr Yiting can be achieved by a publication of contravention, the Court action taken to date, and active monitoring of any further activities of Mr Yiting, Big Li Ceiling and any new or related entities.
The ABCC’s court summary is available here.