Attending by telephone

Information on attending a hearing by telephone

Appearing via telephone

Be prepared and submit any paperwork to the tribunal in advance of the hearing.

On the day of the proceeding:

  • be ready to start the hearing at least five (5) minutes before the start time
  • consider using a landline to avoid any issues with mobile phone reception
  • ensure that you have a stable telephone connection
  • consider using a headset, headphones or earbuds when using a mobile phone
  • if using headphones with a microphone, test it is working before the hearing begins
  • turn off or eliminate background noise and distractions
  • join with your audio turned on
  • make sure you will not be interrupted during the call.

During the proceeding:

  • mute your microphone when not speaking
  • listen carefully to the other party and the Tribunal decision-maker.  Do not interrupt or talk over anybody else
  • all attendances/conversations are recorded just as if the proceeding was happening in the hearing room

Can I be directed to attend my hearing by telephone

The Tribunal may direct your hearing or other proceeding be conducted by telephone. In some circumstances, the Tribunal may arrange attendance via a video link.

Your Notice of Hearing will provide you with information on how to attend the hearing.

Documents to rely on at the hearing

Unless a Tribunal decision-maker directs otherwise, you must provide to the Tribunal, in writing, any other information upon which you wish to rely no later than seven (7) days prior to the hearing date.

Who is in the telephone hearing?

Hearings are conducted by a QCAT decision-maker.  Other parties to the proceeding will also be in the hearing.

All steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access to the teleconference.

What happens in the teleconference?

The same rules and hearing etiquette apply. For example, you must call the member ‘Member’. They tell you if you need to use another title, like Deputy President.

Read more about addressing QCAT decision-makers and what happens on the day.

What happens after you join the teleconference

You are automatically placed into a ‘waiting room’. The waiting room is a ‘virtual lobby’ that all parties enter when they first join.

You need to wait for the QCAT hearing support officer to give you access to enter the hearing.

When you have access to the hearing, you will be asked to confirm your name and role in the case.  QCAT conducts this process with all parties, including legal representatives, interpreters and witnesses.


All QCAT hearings, including teleconferences, are recorded.

Use only one device in the room

You are encouraged to use a landline to avoid any issues with mobile phone reception.

To avoid feedback and poor audio quality, make sure parties and legal representatives are not in the same room, if you are using separate devices.

If you do need to use multiple devices in the same room for accessibility purposes, ensure all microphones are muted, and parties are using headphones or only one speaker is switched on to avoid feedback and poor audio quality.

Can I apply to attend by telephone?

You do not need to make an application if you are attending a directions hearing.

Before lodging an application to request to attend a hearing by telephone, you should ask the other parties in your matter for their agreement (in writing) to you attending by phone. This agreement should be attached to your application when lodging it with QCAT. If you have been allocated a QCAT case manager, they may assist you in this process.

Even if you have agreement from the other party, you still need to lodge the application at least three days prior to the hearing so the Tribunal can make the final decision. Your application should include the reasons you need to attend by telephone and any documents to support the application.

There is no fee to make an application to attend by telephone.

Will a default decision be made if the party is not available over the telephone when required?

Depending on the type and complexity of the hearing, if you have advised the Tribunal you will attend by telephone and then cannot be contacted, a decision may be made in your absence.

Can I have an interpreter?

QCAT can organise for an interpreter to assist you during your hearing by telephone or via video link.