Last updated 20 May 2022

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has simplified the administrative appeal framework in Queensland.

The purpose of a merits review in QCAT is to produce the correct and preferable decision (s 20 Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act)). The QCAT decision maker will stand in the shoes of the decision-maker, hear and decide the matter by way of a fresh hearing on the merits (s 20(2) QCAT Act).

A person who wishes to bring an administrative appeal (called ‘review of administrative decision’) in QCAT, must first be sure that such an appeal is permitted. If it is unclear, it may be necessary to read the Act or Regulation under which the action was taken or the decision was made.

The grounds for appeal and procedures to be followed when the enactment gives a right of appeal vary from case to case. Often, strict time limits apply to each appeal stage from internal through to external review.

In some cases, no right of appeal will be given, and the only means of challenge available, other than any internal review process provided for under the relevant Act, will be judicial review or a complaint to an external complaint-handling organisation such as the state ombudsman or the Queensland Human Rights Commissioner. For further information see the following chapters: