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History of NTCAT

NTCAT commenced operations on 6 October 2014.

Prior to the establishment of NTCAT there was no centralised system for the review of administrative decisions by government agencies.  Opportunities and procedures for the review of such decisions were inconsistent, involving more than 35 discrete ‘ad hoc’ review bodies.

The inefficiency and confusion this caused was the subject of two reports of the Northern Territory Law Reform Committee, in June 1991 and September 2004.

Each report included recommendations for the establishment of a tribunal system for the comprehensive making and review of administrative decisions.

By 2013 all Australian jurisdictions apart from the Northern Territory and Tasmania had either established or committed to the replacement of ad hoc tribunal systems.

On 15 May 2014, a Bill for the creation of NTCAT was introduced in the Northern Territory Parliament.  The Attorney-General declared that the tribunal would be a ‘single, easy to find, easy to use, non-judicial body for a fair and independent resolution of disputes relating to administrative decisions’ and a ‘common platform for dispute resolution’.

Since commencing operations, NTCAT’s jurisdiction has expanded to almost 50 Acts of Parliament.  The busiest jurisdictions are residential tenancies, small claims and adult guardianship.