QCAT COVID-19 Update

Last updated 7 March

Due to the current COVID-19 situation:

  • all applications and other documents are to be filed electronically or by post unless it is not possible for the person to do so
  • all QCAT proceedings, wherever possible, will be heard remotely by teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

See below for further information.

Updated mask requirements

In light of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland, QCAT Practice Direction No 1 of 2022 has been updated to reflect that face masks will no longer be required on QCAT premises, subject to the direction of the presiding judge or member (at hearings). All persons must continue to practise social distancing.

This Practice Direction does not apply to Magistrates Courts. See Magistrates Courts Practice Direction No. 5 of 2021 for their arrangement

Arrangements for minor civil disputes

The President has issued a direction which outlines the arrangements for MCD matters in Brisbane and South-East Queensland Magistrates Courts until further notice:

  • Irrespective of whether the Notice of Hearing states that personal attendance is required, until further notice, all oral hearings will be conducted by remote conferencing, unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
  • All applications and other documents should be filed either online, by email or by post to the relevant registry. No documents should be filed in person unless it is not possible for the party to file electronically or by post.
  • All documents a party wishes to rely on must be filed in the relevant registry at least three business days before the hearing.
  • A party who wishes to participate in the hearing must provide their best telephone number to the relevant registry at least three business days before the hearing.
  • A party who wishes to appear in person at the hearing must provide written notice to the relevant registry and all other parties no later than three business days before the hearing.

Arrangements for guardianship

The President has issued a direction which outlines the arrangements for guardianship matters until further notice.

  • Irrespective of whether the Notice of Hearing states that personal attendance is required, until further notice, all oral hearings will be conducted by remote conferencing, unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
  • All applications and other documents should be filed by email or by post in accordance with the instructions given by the QCAT registry. No documents should be filed in person unless it is not possible for the party to file by email or by post.
  • If an active party, their representative/s or a witness intends to participate in the hearing, the party must advise the QCAT registry no later than three business days before the hearing of the telephone number they wish to be contacted on.
  • If an active party wishes to appear in person at the hearing, that active party must give written notice to the QCAT registry no later than three business days before the hearing.  The tribunal will then decide how the matter will proceed, including whether personal appearance is permitted. If personal appearance is permitted, the party must ensure they provide in writing their contact details and confirmation that the person:
    • has not been currently diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • is not presently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test;
    • has not been in close contact with another who already has COVID-19 such as to require the person to self-quarantine (in accordance with Queensland Government guidelines and recommendations);
    • is not suffering any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Arrangements for proceedings other than minor civil disputes and guardianship matters

The President has issued a direction which outlines the arrangements for all matters excluding minor civil disputes and guardianship matters until further notice.

  • Irrespective of whether the Notice of Hearing states that personal attendance is required, until further notice, all oral hearings will be conducted by remote conferencing, unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
  • All applications and other documents should be filed electronically or by post. No documents should be filed in person unless it is not possible for the party to file electronically or by post.
  • All documents a party wishes to rely on must be filed at least three business days before the hearing.
  • A party, their representative/s and witnesses who wishes to participate in the hearing must provide their best telephone number at least three business days before the hearing.
  • A party who wishes to appear in person at the hearing must provide written notice to the relevant registry and all other parties no later than three business days before the hearing.

Health advice

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 please visit the Queensland Health website or the Queensland Government Covid-19 website.

Previous updates

For past updates, please click on the links below.

In light of the greater prospect of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus with the opening of the state borders, the President has issued a direction (PDF, 89.5 KB) aimed at ensuring that QCAT, as an essential service, continues to provide access to justice while ensuring the health and safety of all participants.

Subject to the direction of the presiding tribunal member or adjudicator, all persons entering QCAT’s Brisbane registry at 259 Queen St should wear a face mask at all times while on QCAT’s premises.

All persons entering the premises should check-in using the ‘Check in Queensland App’ and practise safe distancing.

This Practice Direction does not apply to Magistrates Courts. See Magistrates Courts Practice Direction No. 5 of 2021 for their arrangements.

QCAT Practice Direction No. 5 of 2021 (PDF, 3.9 MB) outlines QCAT’s arrangements if, and when, any future lockdowns are announced.

The Practice Direction outlines that in the event a lockdown is announced and until it is lifted:

  • the registry will close to the public but remain open for telephone and email communication
  • all documents filed can be emailed but a hard copy must be filed no later than 7 days after the end of lockdown (excluding guardianship matters)
  • any documents relevant to an MCD matter to be heard in SEQ Magistrates Courts may be emailed to the relevant courthouse but a hard copy must also be filed no later than 7 days after the end of lockdown (excluding guardianship matters)
  • all hearings will be commenced by remote conferencing (telephone or video) and the presiding member will determine whether it is appropriate for the hearing to be conducted by remote conferencing. In the event that it is not, the presiding member may adjourn the hearing and make appropriate directions
  • all directions hearings, compulsory conferences, mediations and conclaves will be conducted by remote conferencing (telephone or video)
  • all assessments will not be conducted until further notice from the Tribunal
  • the practice direction arrangements do not apply to the Regional Magistrates Courts outside of the locations in within SEQ in which QCAT Members/Adjudicators hear matters.

For the sake of clarity, the arrangements apply on an ongoing basis for any future lockdowns moving forward.

Following the lifting of the South East Queensland lock down on Sunday, 8 August 2021 at 4pm, QCAT’s Brisbane Registry at 259 Queen Street will return to normal operations from Wednesday, 11 August.

Practice Direction No. 3 of 2021 has been updated to reflect the new arrangements and the QCAT Registry is again open to the public.

For information about arrangements at local courthouses, please visit the Queensland Courts website www.courts.qld.gov.au.

The Premier has advised masks are to carried at all times and must be worn. This measure has been put in place to protect ourselves, and the people around us, especially those most vulnerable. As a result, please wear a mask at all times when visiting QCAT.

On 8 August 2021, the Premier announced the lockdown across the 11 South East Queensland local government areas will be lifted from 4:00pm Sunday 8 August 2021, and Cairns and Yarrabah will commence a three-day lockdown until 4:00pm Wednesday 11 August 2021.

The Premier has advised masks are to carried at all times and must be worn. This measure has been put in place to protect ourselves, and the people around us, especially those most vulnerable. As a result, please wear a mask at all times when visiting QCAT and SEQ Magistrates Courts.

259 Queen Street hearing and registry counter arrangements

The following directions apply for Monday 9 August and Tuesday 10 August 2021:

  • At 259 Queen Street, the Registry counter is open to the public between 8:30am and 4:30pm
  • Masks must be worn at 259 Queen Street
  • You can continue to contact QCAT by phone on 1300 753 228
  • Any proceedings listed for in-person attendance will proceed by telephone or videoconferencing.

QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court

The following directions apply for Monday 9 August and Tuesday 10 August 2021:

  • SEQ Courthouses return to normal operations (see QLD Courts website for more information)
  • Masks must to be worn in any SEQ Magistrates Court
  • Any QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court will proceed by telephone or videoconferencing.

QCAT matters at the Cairns Magistrates Court

The following directions apply for Monday 9 August to Wednesday 11 August 2021:

  • The Cairns Magistrates Court registry counter is closed
  • All urgent QCAT matters can be filed by email during the lockdown period to courthouse.cairns@justice.qld.gov.au
  • Any QCAT hearings listed will be adjourned.

QCAT will provide a further update once further information is received regarding the 3-day lockdown.

2 August 2021

On 2 August 2021, the Deputy Premier announced the 3-day lockdown will extend to 4.00pm Sunday 8 August 2021 across the 11 South East Queensland local government areas.

QCAT Practice No. 3 of 2021 (PDF, 2.0 MB) has been issued by QCAT’s President relating to Tribunal’s operations during the current lockdown.

The following directions apply from Tuesday, 3 August 2021 until further notice.

259 Queen Street hearing and registry counter arrangements

  • At 259 Queen Street, the Registry counter is closed and any parties attending 259 Queen Street will be turned away by Queensland Protective Services
  • You can continue to contact QCAT by phone on 1300 753 228
  • Any material can be filed by email (as well as our online services) and filing fees paid by phone
  • If you file any material by email, you must also file this in hard copy no later than 7 days after the end of lockdown
  • Any proceedings listed for in-person attendance will proceed by telephone or videoconferencing.

QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court

  • Any QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court will proceed by telephone or videoconferencing.

1 August 2021

On 31 July 2021, 11 South East Queensland local government areas commenced a 3-day lockdown from 4.00pm on 31 July 2021, lasting until 4.00pm Tuesday 3 August 2021. One of the conditions of this lockdown relates to a 10 km travel limitation and as a consequence, all QCAT hearings in South East Queensland are impacted.

259 Queen Street hearing and registry counter arrangements for Monday 2 August 2021

  • At 259 Queen Street, the Registry counter is closed and any parties attending 259 Queen Street will be turned away by Queensland Protective Services
  • You can continue to contact QCAT by phone on 1300 753 228 between 8.30am to 3.00pm
  • Any material can be filed by email (as well as our  online services) and filing fees paid by phone
  • If you file any material by email, you must also file this in hard copy no later than 7 days after the end of lockdown
  • Any proceedings which have already been listed as telephone hearings shall continue as telephone hearings
  • Any other matter listed for in-person attendance for Monday will not proceed and will be adjourned on the papers.

QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court

  • Any QCAT matters listed for hearing at a SEQ Magistrates Court will not proceed and will be adjourned on the papers.

QCAT will review arrangements for hearings currently scheduled on Tuesday 3 August 2021, and parties will be contacted as soon as possible.

6 April 2021

Following the announcement of easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Greater Brisbane, changes have been made to QCAT operations.

For the next four days, 6-9 April 2021:

  • all hearings at QCAT’s Brisbane registry at 259 Queen Street will be conducted by telephone or rescheduled if this is not possible; and
  • all QCAT hearings at Caboolture, Cleveland, Ipswich, Pine Rivers, Richlands, Sandgate and Wynnum will also be conducted by telephone or rescheduled if this is not possible.

QCAT’s registry is operating as normal. You can continue to contact QCAT by phone on 1300 753 228 between 8.30am to 3.00pm.

The Premier announced on 1 April 2021 that until 12 noon on 15 April 2021, masks are to carried at all times and must be worn where people cannot socially distance. This new measure has been put in place to protect ourselves, and the people around us, especially those most vulnerable. As a result, it is recommended to wear a mask at all times when visiting QCAT.

For QCAT matters held in other Magistrates Courts in Greater Brisbane and the rest of Queensland, please contact your local courthouse for further information.