Role of QCAT (Queensland Civil & Administration Tribunal)

Picture of a woman with glasses gazing out a window with sunlight

Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal (QCAT)

QCAT hears complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation after they have been investigated and referred to QCAT by the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

After reviewing the complaint, QCAT may decide and order that a person, group of people or business who the complaint was made against must:

  • declare an agreement is not legally binding
  • pay the other party’s costs, or
  • implement programs to eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • make a public or private apology or retraction
  • do specific things to redress the loss or damage suffered
  • pay interest on compensation
  • pay compensation
  • stop doing the action that caused the complaint

To watch a video explaining more about the role of QCAT and what to expect to prepare for and attend a Tribunal hearing click here. This video provides useful information so those coming to QCAT can feel more relaxed and confident about their experience.

Any discrimination matters that have occurred at the work-place, or in relation to employment, will be referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission rather than QCAT.

Decision-Making for Adults

QCAT can make decisions about decision-makers for adults with impaired capacity, including financial decisions (administration) and personal and health decisions (guardianship).

QCAT can decide a range of matters about adults including:

  • making a declaration about an adult’s decision-making capacity for some or all matters
  • determining if informal arrangements in place are adequate to protect the adult
  • appointing a guardian to make some or all personal and health care decisions
  • appointing an administrator to make some or all financial decisions
  • making a temporary decision to deal with an urgent situation
  • making a declaration about the execution and appointment of an enduring power of attorney.

Generally, guardians or administrators:

  • can be appointed for up to five years
  • must be at least 18 years of age and not a paid carer for the adult
  • can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, but cannot be paid for their services
  • can be reviewed by QCAT and removed under a range of circumstances.

QCAT cannot act as a decision-maker for an adult. If there is no suitable person to be appointed, QCAT may appoint:

  • the Office of the Public Guardian as a guardian for an adult
  • the Public Trustee Queensland as an administrator for an adult.

For Guardianship and Administration Decisions, QCAT follow the General Principles in their decision making about Guardianship and Administration matters. To view a factsheet outlining the General Principles click here.

Other QCAT Matters

Other matters which may be brought before QCAT include:

  • Building disputes
    • Domestic and commercial building disputes, disciplinary proceedings and reviews of decisions by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and registered adjudicator decisions.
  • Children and young people
    • Child protection matters, adoption applications, blue card applications, prohibiting a person from entering an educational facility.
  • Consumer and trader disputes
    • Disputes valued up to and including $25,000 arising out of a contract for the supply of goods and services including the repair of a defect in a motor vehicle.
  • Debt disputes
    • Disputes against another person, business or company about a fixed or agreed sum of money valued up to and including $25,000 e.g. a debt resulting from overhanging branches ( ), an IOU or money lent and not repaid.
  • Minor civil disputes
    • Disputes valued up to and including $25,000 including debt disputes, consumer disputes, residential tenancy disputes, property damage disputes and dividing fence disputes.
  • Other civil disputes
    • Tree disputes body corporate and community management scheme disputes, financial losses caused by motor and property agents, integrated resort development matters, legal cost agreement claims, manufactured home park disputes, retirement village disputes and Sanctuary Cove Resort disputes.
  • Occupational regulation
    • Disciplinary proceedings and licencing decisions for architects, building personnel, health practitioners, introduction agents, legal practitioners, motor dealers, nursing practitioners, plumbers and drainers, prescribed persons who are public servants or police officers, professional engineers, property agents, racing personnel, second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers, security providers, surveyors, tattooists and tattoo business operators, teachers, tour operators, travel agents, valuers and veterinary surgeons.
  • Residential tenancy disputes
    • A wide range of disputes between tenants, landlords (lessors) or agents and residents, providers of, or agents for rooming accommodation.
  • Review of administrative decisions
    • Decisions made by government agencies and other bodies including statutory authorities.