Establishment of NCAT
Appointments of President and Principal Regstrar at NCAT
On 16 October 2013 the Attorney General announced the appointment fo Robertson Wright SC as a Supreme Court judge and as the inaugural President of NCAT. Mr Wright has been practising as a barrister for 30 years and has been a Judicial Member of the ADT since 2007. Read the Attorney General's media release
Also, on the 16 October 2013 the Acting Director General, Attorney General and Justice announced the appointment of Sian Leathem to the role of Principal Registrar for NCAT.
Most recently Sian was seconded to be the Project Manager leading the conslidation and alignment of tribunal services to create NCAT. Sian was previously Registrar of the NSW Workers Compensation Commission and was Assistant Registrar at the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The NSW Government will establish the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, to be known as ‘NCAT’. More than 20 of the state’s tribunals will be integrated into NCAT, which will provide a single gateway for tribunal services to the people of NSW.
NCAT’s establishment is part of the Government’s commitment to improving the quality, consistency and transparency of public services.
NCAT is being established in response to the recommendations of the Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, which conducted an inquiry into opportunities to consolidate tribunals in NSW between October 2011 and March 2012. The parliamentary inquiry found that the existing tribunal system can be ‘complex and bewildering’. It recommended that tribunals be consolidated where it is appropriate and promotes access to justice.
The Government response provides detail about NCAT’s proposed structure, including a list of the tribunals that will be integrated.
A Steering Committee has been established to oversee implementation.
The Committee will be advised by a Reference Group that will include tribunal members and administrators; representatives of tribunal users; and relevant professional associations.
The Steering Committee and Reference Group are supprted by a small Project Team.
NCAT will begin operating in January 2014.
Legislation required to support NCAT has been introduced into Parliament in separate phases. The first Bill was introduced into Parliament on 22 November 2012, and passed both Houses of Parliament without amendment on 27 February 2013. This Bill is now known as the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013. It sets out NCAT's governance framework and contains provisions that are required to facilitate the establishment of the Tribunal. It does not confer any jurisdiction on NCAT, or set detailed requirements relating to NCAT's functions or powers. You can find a copy of the Act at the website www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2013 (the amending Bill) was introduced into the Parliament on 30 October 2013 and passed by both Houses of Parliament on 14 November 2013. The Bill amends the existing Act to set NCAT's jurisdiction, powers and functions. The consequential amendment Bill known as the Civil and Administrative Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Bill 2013 was also introduced on 30 October 2013 and passed by both houses on 13 November 2013.
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 No 2 was assented to on 20 November 2013. The Act will commence on 1 January 2014. This Act consolidates the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 and the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2013. A consolidated copy of the Act can be found at the NSW legislation website www.legislation.nsw.gov.au
Work continues on the NCAT Regulations and the draft regulation incorporates interim NCAT rules. Targeted consultation is occuring in relation to the Regulations.
View a copy of the Act and the Attorney General's second reading speech.
NCAT will be structured to preserve existing specialities and to ensure that a 'one size fits all' approach is not taken. The draft organisation chart is in the Government's response to the Standing Committee's report [PDF, 40kb]. However, the detail of the structure and individual roles will be developed through consultation with staff and members. The Steering Committee will provide regular updates to staff and members throughout the project.
It will be ‘business as usual’ until January 2014.
Keep checking this website for updates.
Members of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal are statutory office holders and will be appointed by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice under the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013.
The Tribunal will require members with professional skills or in some circumstances expertise in specialised areas, including home building, guardianship, consumer disputes, specialist medicine and other areas of administrative law. Future NCAT member vacancies will be advertised in the press and via Lawlink.
Whilst there are no current vacancies for Tribunal members we expect to advertise for tribunal members in early 2014 once NCAT commences.