Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

Back to all speeches

 at QCAT, Brisbane

Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) Re-Opening and 10-Year Celebration

Thank you, Justice Daubney, for your kind introduction. Chief Justice; Attorney-General; Your Honours including the Chief Judge and the Chief Magistrate; Shadow Attorney-General; ladies and gentlemen.

I too acknowledge the traditional owners and express respectful greetings to Elders; I extend a spirit of support, too, to emerging leaders.

It is a great pleasure to join you today for this important celebration.  

There is much for QCAT to celebrate – ten busy years of great success in serving Queenslanders, and in the process transforming important aspects of the Queensland legal system.

As a former Chief Justice, I clearly recall the crowding of the Supreme Court agenda with cases which, while of the greatest importance to those involved, were not of a scale that required the Supreme or District Court’s attention.

The pre-QCAT caseload of the Supreme Court resulted in substantial delay and expense, to the disadvantage of Queenslanders seeking judgements on smaller-scale civil cases.

QCAT took up that challenge with its statutory charter, and, to my observation (acute to 2014 though rather distant from then) has done its very best to achieve those goals: the resolution of disputes in a way that is fair, just, accessible, quick and inexpensive. And we must acknowledge the very weight of its caseload means that challenge is substantial – so is the increasingly litigious nature of our community.

This is a substantial tribunal, and the responsibility of those who administer and constitute it is commensurate. I thank them all, as I do for Queenslanders.

I was as a judge an early supporter – from the early 1980s – of so-called ‘alternative dispute resolution’, a goal which really lies at the heart of QCAT’s mission, and I understand that a lot of your cases are appropriately compromised. Of the others…  

Courts and tribunals which as necessary adjudicate upon citizens’ disputes are open to criticism, one always hopes properly informed.

Diverting momentarily, can I say, with my now I hope well-established Twitter credentials, how beneficial the court systems’ forays into social media have been.[1] Helping people to locate judgements, thereby encouraging the reading of them, is an excellent use of the medium.

Returning to task, I sense QCAT has done fairly well in securing public confidence, suggesting a perception of expedition, economy and basic fairness: how often perceptions seem to guide us these days! But your records suggest a real satisfaction with your work: 31,000 cases annually, 96% of which were finalised with an 82% user satisfaction rate.

These are impressive, indeed enviable figures, a vote of confidence by Queenslanders.

QCAT has not sat on its laurels. The recent Redux Project is squarely aimed at improving service for QCAT clients. The refurbishment project provides bricks-and-mortar support for this objective.

Innovation in ICT is also being harnessed to further improve accessibility and efficiency.

Inevitably, QCAT’s challenges are also on the rise. The caseload continues to increase. QCAT has been assigned additional jurisdictions, and there is a trend towards increasingly complex cases.

QCAT’s success in meeting these and other challenges is due to the commitment and hard work of many people.

As Governor, I thank the Attorney-General and her Department for their strong support of this really important initiative.

I congratulate the President and Deputy President for their exemplary leadership.

I thank for their great dedication and expertise QCAT’s Senior Members, Members, Adjudicators and Justices of the Peace, including Magistrates who sit as QCAT Members in regional Queensland. 

I thank QCAT’s tireless and invaluable Registry staff for their skill and efficiency.

A decade’s anniversary is significant, and I was so pleased to receive the President’s invitation that I be here this afternoon. It is with great pleasure to be shortly unveiling a plaque marking the refurbishment. It is with equal pleasure that I wish QCAT every success as it moves forward into its second decade of serving our State. Thank you.