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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 9 January 2014

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal opened for business on 1st January

From the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, E-News, December 2013:

Key features of Guardianship Tribunal preserved
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal opens for business on 1 January 2014.  The new NCAT brings together 23 existing tribunals dealing with consumer claims, residential tenancies and a wide range of other issues.  
The Guardianship Tribunal also becomes part of NCAT.  However, the Government has responded to the advocacy of NSW CID and others by preserving key features of the Guardianship Tribunal.  The new legislation provides that there will be a separate Guardianship Division of NCAT and:
  1. Applications for guardianship and financial management will continue to be heard by three tribunal members.
  1. The Guardianship Division will continue to provide written reasons for all decisions.
  1. The Guardianship Division will continue to have a hearing for all cases. 
NSW CID congratulates the Government and the Attorney General in particular.  The new legislation will prevent the erosion of fundamental safeguards on the rights of people with disability.   In other states, the usual practice is for one member, often with little experience in disability, to hear cases.  Written reasons are rare.  Also, many cases are done by a member just reading the paperwork rather than meeting the person with disability and their family in a hearing. 
The first President of NCAT is Justice Robertson Wright who has already shown that he appreciates the informal, expert and inclusive way in which the Guardianship Tribunal operates.  
The Guardianship Division will continue to be in its own premises at Balmain and have its existing phone number.   The current Guardianship Tribunal President Malcolm Schyvens will become a Deputy President of NCAT and head of the Guardianship Division.
The Guardianship Tribunal of NSW website says that the '... change will not impact on the management or resolution of any matters in progress before the Guardianship Tribunal.'

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