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Feedback and complaints

We encourage and welcome your feedback. It is an important source of service improvements and justice delivery ideas, and a valuable channel for communicating with you.

Please note, inquiries about potential or current matters are directed to enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au.

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 (PDF, 238.3 KB) 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 decision or orders QCAT has already made. 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 use other legal avenues available under the QCAT Act. You may wish to seek legal advice on whether you can appeal. 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 / justice of the peace
  • registry processes or procedures
  • provision or quality of service
  • breach of privacy.

Complaints QCAT does not manage:

  • tribunal decisions/directions
  • 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 orally or in writing) will be reported or copied to, and recorded by, the Executive Director or a nominee.
  • An appropriate authorised, qualified and impartial person properly investigates all complaints.
  • Anonymous complaints are accepted, however, we recommend providing your contact details so we can talk with you about your complaint.
  • Consideration of a complaint will not change any directions, decision or orders QCAT has made. If a different outcome or order is sought, 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.
  • To investigate and properly respond to your complaint, it is necessary to disclose your complaint to the QCAT representative concerned. Your personal information is only used to investigate and respond to the issues raised in your complaint.
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may request an internal review by another officer. The review will be conducted by another officer who has not had involvement in the original complaint response.
    • Please note that complaints about a member (including the President), adjudicator, or justice of the peace are out of scope for an internal review under this policy.

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 (DOC, 263.5 KB).

You can make your complaint to any of the following: the QCAT President, the QCAT Executive Director, the Attorney-General or another organisation. This table shows where you can direct your complaint.

Type of complaintComplaint directed toWhere 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.

Internal review is available.

Executive Director
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

QCAT President

The Attorney-General of Queensland

Attorney-General
GPO Box 149
Brisbane Qld 4001

attorney@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Conduct of a QCAT judicial member, senior member, member or adjudicator

QCAT President

President
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

Mediators

QCAT Executive Director

The Executive Director may refer your complaint to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's Dispute Resolution Branch if appropriate.

Internal review is available.

Executive Director
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

Magistrates in QCAT proceedings

QCAT President

President
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

Magistrates court staff in QCAT proceedings

QCAT Executive Director

Internal review is available.

Executive Director
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

Delays in decision delivery

Practice Direction 4 of 2013 (PDF, 121.9 KB) requires members and adjudicators to deliver decisions within 90 days after the decision becomes reserved.

QCAT President

President
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
BRISBANE Qld 4001

enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au

How will QCAT respond to my complaint?

QCAT is committed to responding to complaints in an appropriate, timely and courteous way.

QCAT will acknowledge complaints within five (5) working days of receipt and 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 considered to be 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, adjudicator or justice of the peace

The QCAT President has administrative responsibility for the tribunal's efficient operation. This does not extend to directing or influencing, or seeking to direct or influence, QCAT members, adjudicators and justices of the peace, on how to decide matters that come before them. The QCAT President will determine how to manage a complaint in a way that is consistent with the need to preserve the independence of the member, adjudicator or justice of the peace.

Members, adjudicators and justices of the peace are accountable through the public nature of their work. They have a general obligation to conduct hearings in public, to hear all sides of 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.

Members of QCAT 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, adjudicator or justice of the peace.

This complaints process provides a way for the conduct of a member, an adjudicator or a justice of the peace to be brought to the President's attention and, if appropriate, the member, adjudicator or justice of the peace concerned. Complaints about a member, adjudicator, or justice of the peace are out of scope for an internal review under this policy.

Consideration of such a complaint will not change any decision or orders QCAT has made. 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, adjudicator or justice of the peace

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 person/s making the disclosure. QCAT comes under this Act because it is a public service entity, but the Act does not affect the independence of QCAT's members, adjudicators and justices of the peace in the performance of their work.

QCAT can receive a ‘public interest disclosure’ about its own conduct or that of its staff. These complaints should be sent to the President or Executive Director. Complaints about a judicial member of QCAT should be sent to the Chief Justice, or the Crime and Corruption Commission. Information about complaints of this kind may be found in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 at www.legislation.qld.gov.au.

Advice may be obtained from the Crime and Corruption Commission:
Post:   GPO Box 3123, Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone:  3360 6060 or toll free (landlines only) 1800 061 611
Email: mailbox@ccc.qld.gov.au
Web: ccc.qld.gov.au

Queensland Ombudsman

The Queensland Ombudsman is an independent complaints investigation agency. The Ombudsman can investigate administrative actions of QCAT. It cannot investigate tribunal or member actions relating to deliberative functions (i.e. decision making).

If the Ombudsman considers an administrative complaint, it will not change any decision or orders QCAT made. 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.

Anyone directly affected by administrative actions of QCAT is entitled to make a complaint to the Queensland Ombudsman. Before making a complaint to the Ombudsman, you may request an internal review.

The contact details for the Queensland Ombudsman are:
Post:   GPO Box 3314, Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone:  3005 7000 or toll free (landlines only) 1800 068 908
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.qld.gov.au
Web: ombudsman.qld.gov.au

Are you a child or young person in care?

If you are unhappy about something that has happened at QCAT, you can use our QCAT child-friendly complaint form (DOCX, 360.8 KB) to let us know why you are unhappy and what you would like to happen.

We cannot provide legal advice

As part of an independent tribunal, QCAT registry staff cannot provide legal advice.

Registry staff can explain and answer questions about how QCAT works and its processes.

Registry staff cannot help with:

* whether or not you should submit an application
* whether your application is under the correct jurisdiction
* if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application
* recommending a specific lawyer to assist you
* how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding
* contacting a QCAT member or adjudicator directly
* predicting likely outcomes of a case or appeal
* helping you to prepare your case
* advising what orders/decisions you should seek
* enforcing an order or decision of the tribunal
* advising exact timeframes for resolution of a matter – this depends on your individual matter.

Last reviewed
19 April 2017
Last updated
19 April 2017

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