When a matter is listed for a compulsory conference or hearing before NTCAT, parties are expected to attend in person and present their case.
A party unable to attend in person must obtain NTCAT’s permission to attend by phone or otherwise be appropriately represented.
How to apply to attend by phone
Permission to appear by phone is a privilege, not a right, and will be granted on a case-by-case basis taking into account reasons such as health, distance, the type of proceeding, the complexity of the matter and the safety and security of parties.
A party can apply to attend by phone by completing a Form 3 Ordinary Application. The application should state the reasons the party needs to attend by phone and should include any evidence in support of the application.
There is no fee to make this type of application.
Arrangements for appearing by phone
If leave is granted to appear by phone NTCAT will advise the parties. At this time arrangements will be made to facilitate the phone appearance.
A party granted leave to appear by phone will be asked to provide a direct phone number for NTCAT to call on. A landline number is preferred to avoid any issues with mobile phone reception.
The party must be available to accept a call from the time the hearing is listed to commence until the time contact is made by NTCAT.
NTCAT will usually make one phone call to the phone number provided. If the party does not answer the call the tribunal member has the discretion to deal with the matter in the party’s absence.
NTCAT will not pay to connect parties who are overseas. If leave to appear by phone is granted in such a case, arrangements will be made for the party to phone into NTCAT for the proceeding at their own cost.
Appearing by phone
All phone appearances are recorded just as if the party was appearing in the hearing room.
When appearing in a proceeding via phone, a party must:
- ensure they provide NTCAT with a direct phone number for NTCAT to call on at least one business day prior to the proceeding;
- be ready to start the proceeding at least 15 minutes before the listed start time;
- make sure that they will not be interrupted during the phone call and that they will be available for the full duration of the proceeding;
- listen carefully to all parties and the presiding Tribunal Member; and
- not interrupt or talk over anyone else.