Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 review

The former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, the Honourable Shannon Fentiman, approved the review of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (QCAT Act) under section 240 of the QCAT Act and released the Terms of Reference for the review.

QCAT is an independent tribunal established under the QCAT Act in 2009. QCAT hears and determines disputes in a broad range of civil, administrative and disciplinary subject matters, with close to 30,000 applications lodged yearly across Queensland. For example, QCAT hears:

  • guardianship and administration applications
  • residential tenancy disputes
  • minor debt and consumer claims
  • fence and tree disputes
  • retail shop lease and building disputes
  • reviews of a range of government decisions, on application of an affected person
  • discipline matters across a range of industries, vocations and professions.

The QCAT Act requires QCAT to deal with matters in a way that is accessible, fair, just, economical, informal and quick. The QCAT Act sets out a legislative framework and provisions to enable QCAT to fulfill its statutory functions. QCAT’s jurisdiction to hear matters is contained in the QCAT Act and also in other Acts of Parliament (enabling Acts). Over 180 enabling Acts confer jurisdiction on QCAT.

This is the second review of the QCAT Act as required under section 240 of the QCAT Act. Download the Review of the QCAT Act report (PDF) to find out more about the first review.

This second review is being undertaken by a review team within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG).

Terms of Reference

Section 240 of the QCAT Act sets out the objects of the review:

  • deciding whether the objects of the QCAT Act remain valid
  • deciding whether the QCAT Act is meeting its objects
  • deciding whether the provisions of the QCAT Act are appropriate for meeting its objects
  • investigating any specific issue recommended by the Minister or the QCAT President including, for example, whether any provision of an enabling Act affects the effective operation of the tribunal.

In response to current workload challenges facing QCAT, the review will give particular focus to procedural reform to the QCAT Act and enabling Acts to assist the effective operation of the tribunal.

In addition, the review will consider:

  • whether the provisions relating to establishment and administration of the tribunal are appropriate to meet the needs of the tribunal including the current statutory decision maker categories, and whether the current maximum term of appointment for decision makers should be retained or increased
  • whether—and if so, in what cases—the need to get leave to be legally represented should be retained
  • the current appeal structure for QCAT decisions
  • whether the current legislation creates hurdles to procedural efficiency, in particular, in minor civil disputes
  • compatibility of the QCAT Act, and any recommendations for legislative reform, with the Human Rights Act 2019.

Other ideas for legislative reform within the scope of the Terms of Reference are welcomed.

Read the Terms of Reference.

Have your say

DJAG will release a consultation paper and call for submissions based on the Terms of Reference by mid-2024.


Please email the QCAT Act Review Team on QCATActReview@justice.qld.gov.au if you would like to find out more about this review.