SAT’s functions and powers are conferred by the State Administrative Tribunal Act 2004 (SAT Act) and its jurisdiction is governed by more than 150 Acts (known as enabling Acts). Applicants may only apply to SAT if an enabling Act gives SAT power to make a decision on the matter that is the subject of the application.
SAT has both original jurisdiction and review jurisdiction. In exercising its original jurisdiction, SAT is to deal with a matter in accordance with the enabling Act and the SAT Act. Where review jurisdiction is conferred by an enabling Act, SAT can review the merits of a decision made by the original decision-maker under the enabling Act. If there is inconsistency between the provisions of the SAT Act and the enabling Act, the enabling Act prevails. The State Administrative Tribunal Regulations 2004 also prescribe certain matters relevant to the jurisdiction and procedures of SAT.
A list of enabling Acts can be found in the State Administrative Tribunal (Conferral of Jurisdiction) Amendment and Repeal Act 2004.
The bulk of SAT’s work in Human Rights concerns applications under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990. SAT may appoint substitute decision makers to make decisions about health, lifestyle and financial estate matters on behalf of people who no longer have the capacity to make their own decisions. SAT’s jurisdiction in Human Rights also extends to equal opportunity, gender reassignment, adoption and mental health.
Commercial and Civil
Commercial and Civil encompasses a diverse range of work, including both original and review jurisdiction. The majority of applications in Commercial and Civil relate to commercial tenancy disputes, along with building disputes referred to SAT by the Building Commission. SAT is also a ‘one stop shop’ for strata disputes.
Development and Resources
The majority of matters in Development and Resources relate to the review of government decisions in respect of applications for planning and development approval. SAT also hears matters relating to land valuation and compensation, as well as water allocation, agriculture and fisheries. The range of work is diverse and encompasses SAT’s original and review jurisdictions.
The work of SAT in Vocational Regulation mainly involves disciplinary action against members of regulated vocations relating to professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct. SAT also exercises review jurisdiction in relation to registration and licensing decisions made by vocational registration boards and other public officials responsible for licensing of particular vocations.
Last updated: 22 August 2023
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