Last updated 9 January 2019
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and courts
If a dispute arises about goods or services, consumers can take action in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which deals with disputes between consumers and traders involving up to $25 000. The time limit for making a complaint is six years from when the dispute arose. The tribunal provides for an upfront one-off filing fee, but otherwise there are no costs, and lawyers cannot be engaged unless the tribunal allows it.
Where the tribunal does not have jurisdiction, consumers must bring an action in the Magistrates Court.
Proposed ‘Lemon Laws’ legislation for the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
In November 2018, the Queensland Government introduced a Bill to parliament to help people who have been sold faulty vehicles including cars, motorhomes and caravans.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 would enable the tribunal to hear matters for new and old vehicles with numerous defects, sometimes called ‘lemons’.
The proposed legislation would see the tribunal’s jurisdictional limit be raised to $100 000 for motor vehicles.
The proposed changes have not yet been passed. Until the Queensland Parliament passes the new legislation, the trbunal’s current jurisdictional limit of $25 000 remains in place.
Consumers may try the court’s mediation service at dispute resolution centres in Queensland.
Alternative dispute resolution schemes
Consumers can also take their complaint to alternative dispute resolution schemes depending on the goods or services purchased. Schemes are free for consumers. There are schemes for most financial products and services.