Decisions by government bodies can usually be reviewed in Tribunals or the Court.
Decisions by Queensland government bodies can be reviewed in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Supreme Court.
Decisions by Commonwealth bodies can be reviewed in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Federal Court.
Tribunals allow for a rehearing which means a fresh hearing on the merits to make a new decision.
The courts deal with Judicial Review, which requires identification of a fault in decision-making procedure.
Our firm has extensive experience in Tribunal Reviews, which is explained below.
Our firm has particularly undertaken a large volume of work in the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal in relation decisions affecting builders, both for and against the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (formerly the QBSA).
Examples of reviews conducted in QCAT are:
Excluded Individual Reviews
Decisions as to whether or not a person should be categorised as an Excluded Individual pursuant to section 56AF of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act (formerly the Queensland Building Services Authority Act).
Permitted Individual Reviews
Decisions as to whether or not a person should be categorised as a Permitted Individual pursuant to section 56AD(1) of the Act.
This requires an analysis of whether all reasonable steps were taken by the individual to prevent the coming into existence of the “Relevant Event” (i.e. a bankruptcy event or a corporate insolvency event).
Consequently, this means that the analysis required in a Permitted Individual Review requires:
(a) On occasion:
(i) Review of the financial statements to determine if the cashflow and capitalisation of the company
were managed appropriately;
(ii) Review of the appropriateness of litigation undertaken;
(iii) Consideration of compliance with director’s duties pursuant to the Corporations Act;
(iv) Consideration of insolvency issues that arise pursuant to the Corporations Act; and
(v) Whether there has been any phoenix activity;
(b) In all cases the proper application of the statutory test provided in section 56AD(8).
Suspensions & Cancellations
Suspensions and cancellations of licences relate to decisions that affect trading companies usually in relation to compliance with the Financial Requirements for Licensing. These can be high profile matters, and there are usually a significant number of consumers, employees, subcontractors and trade suppliers who are affected both by the company continuing to trade or alternatively ceasing to trade. Hence these can be particularly sensitive matters.
Decisions Regarding Adequacy of Building Work
Pursuant to section 72 of the Act, upon a complaint from an owner of a property, the QBSA can decide to, or decide not to, issue a direction to the builder to rectify or complete that work.
Decisions Regarding the Statutory Insurance Scheme
Where the QBSA decides that building work is defective or incomplete, and that work will not be rectified or completed by the builder, it can consider the complaint as a claim on the Statutory Insurance Scheme set up by the Act.
Decisions to accept or reject a claim under the insurance scheme as to the scope of works required for rectification or completion can be the subject of an administrative review.
For further enquiries, please contact Malcolm Robinson.