Tribunal: Member Simon Webb

The applicant was employed as a research technician by the Australian National University (ANU) when she developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of her employment. She claimed and received compensation from Comcare and underwent surgery for the condition. Following surgery, Comcare made a reconsideration decision ending her compensation finding the applicant no longer suffered the effects of her injury. The applicant applied to the AAT for a review of this decision.

The ANU took over the claim from Comcare and applied to the AAT for dismissal of the application for review. The AAT may dismiss an application for a number of reasons,[1] one being if there is no reasonable prospect that the application will be successful. This was the issue before the AAT.

The applicant claimed her application should not be dismissed as she continued to experience symptoms in her wrists and hands. The ANU claimed the application should be dismissed because the applicant did not produce evidence of sufficient quality and weight for her case to succeed.

The AAT explained that answering the question of whether there was no reasonable prospect of success largely involved examining the issues in question and the evidence addressing the issues. If the evidence establishes there are matters to be examined and tested at a substantive hearing then the AAT may conclude that there is a reasonable prospect of success.

The evidence in this matter was made up of a number of medical opinions about the applicant’s conditions, including differing opinions. The AAT conducted a preliminary assessment of the medical reports and found that there were matters to be examined at a substantive hearing. On this basis, the AAT concluded that the case had some reasonable prospect of success.

The AAT refused the application for dismissal.

Read the full decision on AustLII.

 

[1] Section 42B of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975