Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Martin Daubney.
Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Martin Daubney.

Tribunal stretched beyond the limit, says judge

THE president of Queensland's Civil and Administrative Tribunal has unleashed on the Palaszczuk Government over funding, warning the tribunal has been "stretched beyond all reasonable and proper levels of tolerance".

In a scathing annual report for the tribunal, Justice Martin Daubney said he believed the tribunal was under appreciated and resourcing would only get worse under Labor's new lemon laws, unless more money is sent QCAT's way.

"In real terms, QCAT has observed a less than one per cent increase in funding since its

inception, despite a 14 per cent increase in actual lodgements over that time," his 2017/18 report states.

"Under its current funding arrangements, the QCAT registry is struggling to meet its service

delivery standards.

"Any further delay in appropriate resourcing for QCAT will inevitably result in the tribunal being unable to deliver anything like quick and accessible civil justice to Queenslanders

"I am hopeful that the Executive Government will recognise and urgently address these resourcing issues."

Justice Daubney is also pushing for a pay rise for QCAT's sessional members as well, stating: "A reader of this report may be shocked to learn that there has been no increase in the

remuneration rates paid to QCAT's sessional members since the tribunal was established in

2009."

More than 31,000 cases were lodged with the tribunal last financial year, the report shows.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath told The Courier-Mail the Government had allocated an extra $530,000 in 2018/19 to address the tribunal's workload, as well as money to upgrade its facilities.

"Furthermore, an organisational review of QCAT is currently underway. It is important to await the outcomes of this review to identify future needs and efficiencies," she said.

"I would like to thank the QCAT for their hard work which saw them reach a 100 per cent clearance rate in 2017/18.

"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring QCAT can remain a 'one-stop shop' for accessible justice, appointing former District Court judge John Robertson to further increase QCAT's efficiency in the future," she said.



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