If you believe a decision we've made is incorrect, you can apply to have that decision (the ‘original decision’) reviewed independently through our Internal Review Unit, or through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
For internal review, a decision must be made by QBCC (the original decision) which is ‘reviewable’ under the QBCC Act. Within 28 calendar days of that decision being made or you become aware of that decision, you can request an internal review of that decision (i.e. make an application) to the QBCC Internal Review Unit if you are a person ‘affected ’ by the decision. Once an internal review decision is made, this decision can be reviewed in QCAT.
Acknowledgement of your review application
An internal review application is acknowledged within 2 business days of receipt of the application.The acknowledgement is usually sent by email and contains important information about the review process.
You are given 3 business days from the date of acknowledgement to provide all the information you wish to submit to support your application.
The affected party will be advised of the application and may be provided with a copy of the review application and any supporting evidentiary documents you provide.
Once an application is processed, it will be allocated to a case officer, who will conduct a more detailed assessment and review, or advise you if an internal review cannot be conducted, including the reasons why.
The internal review application will be assessed by the case officer to make sure that:
- a decision has been made by the Commission (the original decision)
- the original decision is a reviewable decision under legislation
- the application for internal review was lodged with the Commission within 28 calendar days after the applicant is given notice of the original decision or otherwise becomes aware of the original decision
- the internal review application was made by an affected person, or their authorised agent
- there are no other issues which prevent the internal review of the decision or decisions (e.g. such as an application for administrative review by QCAT about the same matter by the applicant).
If an application is made outside the 28 calendar day period, a further assessment will be undertaken as to whether the application should be accepted ‘out of time’ (see "Applying for an internal review” under "Timeframes for applying" for further information).
Reviewing material and gathering evidence
An internal review takes the form of a merits review. The purpose of a merits review is to make the correct and preferable decision. It is therefore up to all affected parties to provide information that may assist the internal review decision maker make this decision.
The internal review decision maker has the same decision making powers as the original decision maker and must consider the same legislative provisions, regulation, policies and procedures relevant to that decision.
The internal review process will involve:
- reviewing all relevant documentation and photographs contained in the original case file;
- consideration of any new and relevant information / submissions obtained, including from the applicant and any other affected parties;
- consideration of the facts and circumstances against relevant legislation, regulation, policies and procedures including how to exercise discretion (if any);
- procedural fairness to affected parties where a new adverse finding might be made.
The internal review process does not ordinarily involve a repeat of the initial investigation process, and may rely on previous information gathered where that information is either uncontested or is accepted by the review decision maker to be reliable.
However, if a need is identified, the internal process may include:
- a site inspection, with all affected parties invited to attend;
- professional advice (for example, from an engineer);
- consideration of information from the original decision maker about the reasons for their decision and any information they took into account;
- providing information which has been obtained from one affected party to another affected party, and giving that party an opportunity to respond.
Outcome of an internal review
The review decision will be made by a review decision maker at the same level as, or more senior to, the original decision-maker. The internal review decision maker is independent of the original decision.
The internal review decision maker can make a new decision which is the same as, or different to, the original decision and will provide you with their findings and reasons for the decision. The other affected parties involved in the matter will also be advised of the internal review decision.
The internal review decision replaces the original decision and can only be changed through a review in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
You will be advised of the outcome of the internal review by letter and/or email.
Timeframes for completing a review
Ordinarily, an internal review is made within 28 calendar days of the application being made to the Commission. In the event that an internal review cannot be completed within 28 calendar days, consideration will be given as to whether an extension of time should be sought to finalise the review. An extension of time is considered the exception rather than the rule and therefore will not be sought in all circumstances.
If a decision is made where it is appropriate to extend the reviewable period, the applicant will be requested to consent to a time extension. If the applicant does not wish to provide a time extension, and in the circumstances the internal review decision cannot be completed within 28 days, then the internal review must be the same as the original decision..
More than one time extension may be necessary due to various factors and/or complexities. We will actively engage with all affected parties and provide the opportunity to respond to any ‘new’ information that may rely upon in making a new decision.