When will I receive the decision?

We usually make a decision after conducting a hearing.

You will receive our decision at the end of the hearing or in writing at a later date.

Watch our video guide for more information about receiving our decision.

Oral decision at the end of the hearing

We might tell you our decision and the reasons for that decision at the end of the hearing. This is called an oral decision.

We will send you, and the agency (the Agency) or the Minister that made the original decision, a notice that sets out our decision without written reasons. If you want a written copy of the reasons, you must ask for them within 28 days after you received notice of the decision.  

Decision in writing

If we do not tell you our decision at the hearing, we will usually send a notice of the decision and the written reasons within 2 months of the hearing.

A copy is also sent to the agency or the Minister, and any other party.


What does the decision mean?

We can make the following decisions:

  • Affirm the decision: the decision is not changed
  • Vary the decision: the decision is changed
  • Set aside the decision and substitute a new decision: the decision is replaced with a new decision
  • Set aside and remit the decision: the matter is sent back to the agency or the Minister that made the original decision to make a new decision.

What happens next?

The organisation that made the original decision must implement our decision or lodge an appeal with the Federal Court within 28 days after receiving our decision. If there is another party to the review they can also lodge an appeal.

If the Agency or Minister has not put our decision into action and there has been no appeal after 28 days, you should contact the person who represented the Agency or the Minister at the hearing. They should be able to explain why there might be a delay.

You can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you are unhappy with a delay.


What if I do not agree with the decision?

If you think our decision is wrong you can appeal to a court. For most decisions, you can appeal to the Federal Court, but only on a question of law.

An appeal to the Federal Court must be made within 28 days after receiving our decision.


Is the decision made public?

Yes. The decision will usually be made publicly available on the internet including on the AustLII website

Look at the Publication of decisions policy for more information about the decisions we publish.

If you are concerned about information that has been, or might be, published in a decision, you can apply to us not to publish some information or the entire decision. Write to us stating what you want kept confidential and why. If we are satisfied it is in the public interest, we can decide to:

  • edit a decision to remove information
  • not publish a decision, or
  • recall a published decision.