QCAT writes to certain people to inform them of the application and seek their views
The QCAT registry will send a copy of the application to the Adult (the person the application is about). Only in very limited circumstances may the Tribunal decide not to do this.
The QCAT registry must also give written notice of the application to certain people involved in the Adult’s life, such as family members, carers and others who are active parties to the particular proceeding, including the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee of Queensland.
Those processes are important because when the Tribunal member makes a decision about the application, the member must, to the extent they can:
- take into account the Adult’s views, wishes and preferences,
- consult with those in a supportive relationship with the Adult,
- ensure they have all the relevant information and material to hear and decide the application.
A hearing will be arranged
The current average time to finalise an application in the guardianship and administration jurisdiction is 14 weeks. The length of time to wait for a hearing may be impacted by a range of factors such as the complexity of the particular case and the availability of a venue.
The QCAT hearing will be held at a location as close as possible to where the Adult resides. This could be either the hearing rooms on level 10 at 259 Queen Street Brisbane, or at a Magistrates Court or other appropriate venue.
Sometimes hearings are conducted by telephone or videoconference.
QCAT will send you a “notice of hearing”
About two to four weeks before the date of the hearing, QCAT will send a written “notice of hearing” to those people the Tribunal is required to notify.
The "notice of hearing" will tell you where the hearing will be held as well as the date and start time of the hearing.
The Tribunal encourages the Adult to participate in the hearing with appropriate arrangements. The person who made the application must also attend.
Return the “attendance advice” form
With the “notice of hearing” you will also find an “attendance advice” form.
It is important to complete and return the attendance advice, as soon as possible (preferably by email to the QCAT registry officer) so the Tribunal knows who will and will not be attending the hearing.
The Tribunal can proceed with the hearing and make a decision even if all of the active parties are not present at the hearing.
Ask for any support services needed
It may be that the Adult or another active party requires special assistance to enable them to properly participate in the hearing. QCAT needs to know this as soon as possible before the day of the hearing so that, as far as possible, appropriate arrangements can be made. Please send an email to the registry officer as soon as possible with the details.
On the hearing day
Don’t forget to bring any relevant documents with you. You might also like to bring a notebook and pen.
On the day of the hearing, if you are attending in person, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time. At some venues there may be security screening (similar to security at the airport). At most venues, your hearing room will be listed on an electronic display on the wall.
You should wait outside the room until you are invited to enter. The Tribunal member or registry officer will tell you were you should sit.
Please turn off your mobile phone before you enter the room.
Usually, the decision is made by the Tribunal member at the end of the hearing and the reasons for the decision may also be given orally at that time. Alternatively, the member may reserve their decision and deliver it at a later time.
The written decision will be sent to the parties in the weeks after the hearing.