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Child Support

Allman and Setford (Child support) [2019] AATA 1197

The AAT had to consider whether or not child support arrangements had to be amended. The central issue for the AAT in this case was whether the mother was providing care to the child if the child was not living in the mother’s home for an extended period of time.

Thorley and Corliss (Child support) [2019] AATA 1748

The parents in this matter applied to the Child Support Registrar to depart from the assessment of how much child support the father was liable to pay. The AAT found that the difference between the father’s adjusted taxable income and his most recent tax return was a “special circumstance” and that the impact was sufficient to establish a ground for departure. The AAT did not find that the mother had an earning capacity but found that her income, property and financial resources were not properly reflected in the assessment. 

Freedom of Information Division

Grass and Secretary, Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of information) [2019] AATA 1415

In this decision issues of official records family recollections and medical evidence were discussed. The key question for the AAT to answer was whether the information about the applicant’s birth date was “incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading”. The AAT needed to determine if there was sufficient evidence of the applicant’s birth date and the authenticity of documents produced.

VFRG and Australian Information Commissioner (Freedom of information) [2019] AATA 965

The applicant made privacy complaints to a number of Commonwealth agencies. He was seeking access to several documents held by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in relation to these complaints. The key issue in this matter was whether or not the documents were conditionally exempt because their disclosure would impact on the proper and efficient conduct of an agency.


Stirling Skills Training (Inc) and Australian Skills Quality Authority [2019] AATA 1721

Following an audit which found the applicant to be non-compliant with certain requirements of the legislation, the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Skills Quality Authority [2019] AATA 1721 cancelled the applicant’s registration. The AAT acknowledged the respondent’s claims of the applicant’s history of non-compliance but found there was evidence the applicant was taking genuine steps to address the non-compliances. The AAT was satisfied that, taking into account the interests of all of the persons who may be affected, it was appropriate for the existing stay order to remain in place until the Tribunal makes a further order.

Migration and Refugee

1608377 (Refugee) [2019] AATA 1115

In this decision the AAT assessed whether the applicant met the refugee criterion or came within Australia’s complementary protection obligations. The applicant argued that because he feared harm from Egyptian authorities, nowhere was safe for him if he returned. The AAT found the applicant applied for a protection visa because he wanted to remain in Australia with his wife.

Choo (Migration) [2019] AATA 1556

In its review, the AAT was concerned that the applicant was seeking a further student visa in order to maintain residence in Australia. In making a decision the AAT also placed weight on the fact that the applicant had previously applied for a Residence visa, with intent to reside in Australia permanently, and was not satisfied that his intention had changed.

Samuel (Migration) [2019] AATA 1079

In order to be eligible for a Skilled Independent (Permanent) visa the applicant is given a score based on how well the applicant meets certain prescribed attributes. The AAT assessed the applicant against the points criteria which considers factors including; age, English language qualifications, overseas employment experience, Australian employment experience, education, and partner skill qualifications.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Howard and National Disability Insurance Agency [2019] AATA 2

In order to receive funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), an applicant must demonstrate how they meet the “access criteria”. These criteria are designed to impose a number of thresholds on access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). When considering the other access criteria, the AAT found the applicant’s psychological condition did not have a substantial impact on his functional capacity. He still maintained a circle of family friends and attended church and the gym. The AAT affirmed the decision not to grant the applicant access to the NDIS.

Taxation and Commercial

Decorative Imaging Pty Limited and Australian Securities and Investment Commission [2018] AATA 4668

In this case, the applicant lodged two proposed business names with ASIC’s online lodgement service. ASIC refused to register both names on the grounds that they were both considered to be identical or nearly identical to other registered names. The AAT had to determine if there was discretion for a human decision maker to intervene and apply common sense principles to whether the proposed business name is identical to another.