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The Courts and Tribunals Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Act 2022 makes a number of minor amendments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act) and other laws to improve the AAT’s operations and clarify aspects of the AAT’s procedures.   

The amending Act, and the explanatory memorandum for the related Bill, are available on the Federal Register of Legislation. The majority of the amendments commenced on 18 February 2022. 

Key changes include:

  • enabling the Social Services & Child Support Division to hold conferences during a review  
  • standardising the powers the Social Services & Child Support Division can use to require parties to give the AAT documents or information or to summon a person to give evidence or produce documents for the purposes of a review
  • in relation to the review of a child support objection decision about the percentage of care for a child, clarifying that each parent or non-parent carer of the child can apply for review of the decision and is automatically a party to the review
  • standardising that any application to the AAT to reinstate an application that has been dismissed under section 42A of the AAT Act, including on the basis it was dismissed in error, must be made within 28 days or such longer period as the Tribunal, in special circumstances, allows.

Some of the changes take effect immediately. For other changes, such as conferencing and the standardisation of information gathering powers in the Social Services & Child Support Division, the AAT is considering how to implement these. More information will be made available about these changes in the future.