Landlords and tenants in NSW will find it easier to settle disputes, and consumer complaints will be more readily resolved with the launch of a new “super” tribunal in NSW.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) consolidates the work of 22 tribunals into a one-stop shop with five specialist divisions – administrative and equal opportunity, occupational and regulatory, guardianship, and victims.
NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said he hoped the launch of NCAT on Wednesday would make it easier for people to access justice by simplifying the tribunals system.
“It’s not hard to imagine the frustration of the community as they searched for the appropriate tribunal to deal with their case,” he said.
Mr Smith said NCAT would provide simple, quick, cost-effective and transparent ways of resolving disputes.
“NCAT will conduct hearings around NSW on a diverse range of cases, from the bride whose big day was ruined when her wedding dress didn’t arrive, to the petrol station owner who damaged a car by supplying contaminated bio-diesel fuel.”
Mr Smith said that aside from consumer complaints, the super tribunal will deal with tenancy disputes, professional disciplinary matters and applications about adults who are incapable of making their own decisions.
NCAT will also review decisions by government agencies about licences for taxi drivers, security guards, real estate agents and others.
It’s anticipated that NCAT will deal with more than 80,000 matters in its first year of operation.
The state government began simplifying the tribunal system in 2012 after research by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice revealed many people found the old system “complex and bewildering”.