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Establishment of the Administrative Review Tribunal.

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Budget 2000-2001 9 May 2000




I am pleased to announce that the Government will provide $17.6 million, including a capital injection of up to $15 million, to establish the Administrative Review Tribunal which will provide a more efficient and accessible system for merits review

The new tribunal will be formed by the amalgamation of four merits review tribunals: the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Social Security Appeals Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal and Migration Review Tribunal.

This new tribunal will be more efficient and provide greater access to justice for Australians than the present complex merits review system. For example, people affected by government decisions in the areas of workersí compensation, immigration, income support, taxation and freedom of information will be able to seek review of those decisions in a tribunal which is simpler, cheaper and faster than the existing system. The new tribunal will also improve the quality and consistency of government decision-making.

The ART will improve information sharing, and spread existing best practice in the present tribunals across all review jurisdictions. It will develop streamlined review structures and processes, allowing better use of resources and creating administrative efficiencies. The ART will be divided into separate review

divisions based on the previous specialist review tribunals. These will adopt flexible, cost-effective and non-legalistic procedures appropriate to the kinds of cases that each division will deal with.

The increased efficiency of the new tribunal will result in savings of $31.1 million (a net saving of $13.5 million) over four years arising from the merger of the four existing merits review tribunals. The up-front costs of establishing the new tribunal and amalgamating the existing tribunals will be fully offset by these savings within 4 years.

Legislation to establish the new tribunal is now being prepared. I anticipate that the new tribunal will commence operations in February 2001.


The way that the GST affects Budget estimates, accounting statements and appropriations is described in Budget Paper No. 4.

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