Feedback and complaints
Feedback and complaints
Feedback and complaints provide QCAT with a means of recognising our strengths and improving our service and are welcome forms of communication between QCAT and our clients.
How do I provide feedback?
To provide feedback on a QCAT service, procedure, practice or policy you can:
What constitutes a complaint?
The QCAT complaints policy and procedure outlines how to make a complaint about a QCAT service, procedure, practice or policy.
You cannot use this process to make a complaint about a tribunal decision. A complaint will not change any QCAT decisions or orders. If a different outcome or order is sought, the person making the complaint (the complainant) must appeal, bring an application for leave to appeal or seek legal advice. There are strict time limits on appealing tribunal decisions.
QCAT manages the following types of complaints:
- conduct of a registry staff member
- conduct of a tribunal member/ adjudicator/ mediator
- registry processes or procedures
- provision or quality of service.
Complaints QCAT does not manage:
- tribunal decisions
- review of a case for error, mistake or other legal grounds.
Our commitments to you as stipulated in our policy:
- No fee is charged for making or delivering a complaint to QCAT.
- Complaints will be dealt with impartially and fairly.
- All complaints (whether made verbally or in writing) will be reported or copied to, and recorded by, the executive director or a nominee.
- All complaints are properly investigated by an appropriate authorised, qualified and impartial person.
- QCAT can accept an anonymous complaint. However, we recommend providing your contact details so we can keep in contact with you about your complaint.
- Consideration of a complaint will not change a QCAT decision or order. If a different outcome or order is sought, the person making the complaint (the complainant) must appeal or bring an application for leave to appeal or use other legal avenues available under the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009. You may wish to seek legal advice on whether you can appeal. There are strict time limits on appealing decisions and orders.
- To investigate and properly respond to your complaint, it will be necessary to disclose your complaint to the QCAT representative concerned. Use of your personal information will be limited to that necessary to investigate and respond to the issues raised in your complaint.
How do I make a complaint?
You can make a complaint verbally or in writing to QCAT.
Written complaints should be submitted using the QCAT complaint form .
Due to the structure of QCAT as an independent decision-making body, your complaint may be directed to either the QCAT president, executive director, the Attorney-General or another organisation. The table below shows where to direct your complaint.
|Type of complaint||Complaint directed to||Where to send your complaint|
|QCAT staff, processes, procedures, services and facilities|
QCAT executive director - the executive director may refer these matters to a relevant delegated officer within the registry
The conduct of a QCAT judicial member, senior member, member or adjudicator
QCAT executive director - the executive director may refer your complaint to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Dispute Resolution Branch as appropriate.
Magistrates in QCAT proceedings
Magistrates court staff in QCAT proceedings
QCAT executive director
Delays in decision delivery
Practice Direction 4 of 2013 requires members and adjudicators to deliver decisions within 90 days after the decision becomes reserved.
How will QCAT respond to my complaint?
QCAT is committed to responding to complaints in an appropriate, timely and courteous manner. Where possible, QCAT will acknowledge complaints within seven (7) days of receipt. QCAT will attempt to provide a response to the complaint within 20 working days.
If your complaint is complex or involves a number of issues QCAT may require more time to consider your complaint. QCAT will keep you informed about the timeframe for responding to your complaint.
Abusive, trivial, or vexatious complaints
QCAT will not investigate a complaint if it is abusive, trivial, or vexatious. In those instances, the complainant will be advised in writing that QCAT is not proceeding with the complaint.
Complaints regarding the conduct of a QCAT judicial member, senior member, member or adjudicator
QCAT's president has administrative responsibility for the tribunal's efficient operation. However this does not extend to directing or influencing or seeking to direct or influence QCAT members and adjudicators as to how to decide matters that come before them. The QCAT president will determine how to deal with the complaint in a way that is consistent with the need to preserve the member's or adjudicator's independence.
Members and adjudicators are accountable through the public nature of their work. They have a general obligation to conduct hearings in public, to hear all sides to a proceeding, and to give reasons for their decisions. They must disqualify themselves from cases in which they have a personal interest. They are subject to the criminal and civil law for behaviour outside their tribunal functions.
QCAT members are not subject to direct discipline by other persons apart from cases where the president believes there may be grounds to suspend or remove a member after consultation with the Minister. QCAT's complaints policy does not, and cannot, provide a mechanism for disciplining a member or adjudicator.
It does, however, provide a process by which conduct complaints may be brought to the president's attention and, as appropriate, the member or adjudicator concerned. Consideration of such a complaint will not change QCAT decisions or orders. If a different outcome or order is sought, the complainant must appeal, bring an application for leave to appeal or use other legal avenues available under the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009.
Decisions or orders of a QCAT judicial member, senior member, member or adjudicator
QCAT decisions and orders are final and binding on all parties to the proceeding. Some provisions of the QCAT Act may permit an appeal from a decision or order: QCAT Act Chapter 2 Parts 7 and 8.
If a different outcome or order is sought, the complainant must appeal, bring an application for leave to appeal or use other legal avenues available under the QCAT Act. The complaint process is not available in these cases.
Other types of complaints
Whistleblower Protection Legislation
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 relates to the disclosure of matters of public interest in Queensland, and the protection of persons making the disclosure.
QCAT is a public service entity under the definition of the Act and bound to its legislative provisions, however the Act is careful not to affect the necessary independence of QCAT’s decision-makers in the performance of their work.
QCAT can receive a ‘public interest disclosure’ about its own conduct or that of its staff. Such complaints should be sent to the QCAT president or executive director. Complaints of this type about a QCAT judicial member should be sent to the Chief Justice, or the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Advice may be obtained from the Crime and Corruption Commission:
Post: GPO Box 3123, Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: 07 3360 6060 or toll free (landlines only) 1800 061 611
The Queensland Ombudsman’s Office is an independent complaints investigation agency. The Ombudsman can investigate QCAT administrative actions but not tribunal decisions or orders.
A complaint to the Ombudsman will not change a tribunal decision or order. If a different outcome or order is sought, the complainant must appeal, bring an application for leave to appeal or use other legal avenues available under the QCAT Act.
Complaints about QCAT administrative actions can be directed to the Queensland Ombudsman:
Post: GPO Box 3314, Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: 07 3005 7000 or toll free (landlines only) 1800 068 908