BIRST Overview

The South Australian Building Industry Redundancy Scheme Trust (BIRST) is a redundancy fund established in 1989 by participants in the South Australian construction industry to provide construction industry employees with a secure benefit at the time of redundancy, retirement, death or permanent disablement.

The trust was established through the Building Industry Redundancy Scheme Agreement (last revised 1996) and operates under a Deed of Trust.

All contributions are held in trust on behalf of members and invested according to the Deed Of Trust which provides that security of members entitlements is the primary objective. Trustees have directed that the funds be invested in Government or Bank guaranteed securities.

Investment earnings are used to recover the cost of administering the fund and the balance is directed towards training within the building industry and member benefits. No fees are deducted from contributions.

TopThe BIRST Directors

The BIRST Directors are appointed by the Building Trades Federation and the Master Builders Association. The positions are voluntary and the Chairman changes annually, rotating between an employer and an employee representative.

The current BIRST Board comprises:

Employer Representatives Employee Representatives

Jeff Piotto
Director, Piotto Bros

Chris Leopold
MBA appointed Director

Holly Gardner
Master Builders Association SA

Gary Minuzzo
Minuzzo Project Management Pty Ltd

John Adley
Secretary, CEPU

David Kirner
Secretary, CFMEU (Furnishing Trades)

Travis Hera-Singh

Eleni Demourtzidis



The BIRST Board manages the capital of the fund to meet the following investment criteria:

  • To protect and preserve the employees benefits
  • To ensure that the Trust Fund is sufficiently liquid to meet the likely demand for payment of workers
  • To provide sufficient income to meet the costs of administering the Trust
  • To provide income for distribution


The fund is self administered by the industry resulting in significant savings in administration costs and overheads. It is audited annually and an actuary reviews the investment strategy regularly.

No fees are charged to employers or employees. The only deduction is tax when a payment is made to a member. BIRST has no control over the taxation rates which are determined by the Australian Taxation Office.