From 31 March 2023, with the commencement of the new Racing Appeals Panel (the panel), the type of Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) decisions which can be reviewed by QCAT will change.
What do you need to know about racing appeals?
With the amendments to the Racing Integrity Act 2016, the functions of the Panel will include:
- replacing the internal and external review processes of stewards’ decisions on the rules of racing by QRIC and QCAT
- finalising review applications within prescribed timeframes
- ensuring racing decisions are made in accordance with the law and the Rules of Racing to maintain the integrity of the racing industry in Queensland.
A person may apply to the Panel for a review of a racing decision of a steward to:
- take disciplinary action relating to the person’s approval or licence; or
- take exclusion action against the person; or
- otherwise impose a penalty, whether monetary or non-monetary, on the person.
For more information about the Racing Appeals Panel visit www.racingappealspanel.qld.gov.au.
This means that external reviews of racing decisions made by stewards will no longer occur at QCAT.
The Panel’s decisions are appealable to QCAT in relation to a disqualification action and only on a question of law. Appeals to QCAT can only be made where the penalty imposed by the stewards is 3 months or more and will be limited to the severity of the penalty.
QCAT may consider an application to stay a decision of the Panel but not if the matter involves a finding of a serious risk to animal welfare, human safety or the integrity of racing.
QCAT will continue to have an external review function for some decisions made by QRIC that do not relate to the Rules of Racing. For more information on how to review a racing personnel decision, please see our Racing Personnel page.
Racing decisions may come to QCAT in two ways.
Before applying to QCAT, you should consider the instructions set out in the decision letter issued to you.
Decisions that do not relate to the Rules of Racing, such as licensing decisions (decisions to refuse or grant a license) will continue to proceed through the QRIC internal review process. If you are unhappy with the outcome of an internal review, you can lodge an application for a review of a decision with QCAT.
Decisions made by the Panel can be appealed to QCAT in relation to a disqualification action and only on a question of law. Appeals to QCAT can only be made where the penalty imposed is 3 months or more and will be limited to the severity of the penalty. Before you apply to appeal a decision, you must ensure the relevant decision letter or information notice issued to you is included with your application forms.
The process to appeal a decision of the Panel, is outlined below when you apply.
The thoroughbred, harness and greyhound industries are governed by QRIC. The rules and regulations relating to each code of racing (thoroughbred, harness, greyhound) can be found on the Racing Queensland website.
In deciding racing appeals on a question of law, QCAT may decide to:
- confirm or amend a decision; or
- set aside a decision and substitute it with its own decision; or
- set aside a decision and return the matter to the original body that made the decision to reconsider it; or
- make any other appropriate orders
Leave (permission) to appeal a the panel's decision is not required when applying to the QCAT on a question of law.
If you make a racing appeal to QCAT, after the appeal application is made QCAT may:
- issue appeal directions to the parties. Appeal directions are instructions to the parties involved on how the matter will proceed. The directions will include time for filing of appeal books, making submissions on questions of law in the appeal, other material and joining/providing the appeal application to further parties if required
- list the matter for a directions hearing if required
- if approved, allow the parties to gather and file further evidence to support their side of the argument
- list the matter for an appeal hearing, after the parties have filed their material; and
- after the appeal hearing, QCAT will then make a final decision based on the law and the material provided by the parties
Whether you are the appellant or respondent in the appeal, once the appeal is received you do not need to do anything further and should wait for further instructions to be issued by the QCAT.
For more information about what happen after an application is made please click here.
The time for QCAT to finalise an appeal may vary depending on QCAT’s workload and the number of steps to be completed by parties as required by QCAT to finalise the appeal. The current average time to consider an appeal and finalise your case can be found on our expected timeframes page.
How do I make an application?
Help and further information
Queensland legislation related to the Racing Appeal Panel appeals include the:
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009
- Racing Integrity Act 2016
The Act is available from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel.
You can access records of previous appeal decisions made at QCAT. This includes previous decisions made by:
- QCAT and QCATA after 1 December 2009, which can be found in the caselaw section of the Supreme Court of Queensland Library
For legal advice:
* Contact the private solicitor of your choice
* Use Queensland Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service.
* Contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88
* Contact Community Legal Centres Queensland for details on your local community legal centre on 07 3392 0092
For assistance in legal proceedings:
Law Right Court and QCAT Services
LawRight is an independent, non-profit community based legal organisation that coordinates pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups. Parties with proceedings in QCAT may be able to obtain assistance from LawRight’s Court and Tribunal Services to self-represent or in limited circumstances, be given representation.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for assistance from LawRight or wish to make an enquiry, contact the service via phone on 07 3564 7561, or email at email@example.com, or writing to PO Box 12217, George Street QLD 4003.
To apply for help from LawRight, please complete the application form here. If you are unable to complete the online form, contact LawRight to discuss alternative arrangements
Community legal centres
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd (ATSILS) is a community-based organisation established to provide professional and culturally proficient legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland. You can access website information or contact ATSILS on(07) 3025 3888.
Community Legal Centres Queensland can help you find the nearest community legal service available to you. You can also contact them on (07) 3392 0092.
Caxton Legal Centre is an independent, non-profit community organisation providing free legal and social work advice, assistance and referrals to the general public. Please note that the Caxton Legal Centre does not provide advice about building or other business and commercial disputes.
Women's Legal Service is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and information to women in Queensland.
Youth Advocacy Centre offers free confidential legal and welfare assistance to young people under 17 years who live in or around Brisbane. Telephone support is also provided to young people outside of Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)’s registry is here to administer your matter and provide general information. Please see below what registry staff can and cannot do to assist with your matter.
Registry staff can:
* answer questions about QCAT processes
* provide information about QCAT’s different types of forms that are available for your consideration
* provide you with information and support about how to lodge an application
* refer and/or process any request to access the QCAT register of proceedings (a publicly available list of QCAT cases) or the record of proceedings (the case files themselves)
* advise on fees and allowances, and how to apply for a waiver of fees
* guide you in checking your forms are complete before lodgement (e.g. signed in the correct places)
* give you information on legal organisations that could help.
Registry staff cannot:
* provide legal advice
* advise on whether you should submit an application and whether you are filing under the correct legal area (eg minor civil dispute – consumer or trader or minor civil dispute – minor debt)
* tell you if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application
* recommend a specific lawyer to assist you
* instruct you on how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding
* contact a QCAT member or adjudicator directly on your behalf
* predict likely outcomes of a case or appeal
* help you prepare your case
* advise what orders or decisions you should seek
* explain what you should do to follow QCAT directions
* recommend your next steps regarding enforcing an order or tribunal decision
* advise on exact timeframes for resolution of a matter – this depends on your individual matter