COVID-19 information (Updated 8/03/2022)

Covid 19

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  CONDUCT OF HEARINGS AT TASCAT

15 March 2022

The Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) has determined that matters that fall within the General Division of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, will return to in-person hearings commencing on 28 March 2022. The Streams of the General Division will issue specific advice about the return to in-person hearings as required, those streams being the:

Anti-Discrimination stream

Forestry Practices stream

Health Practitioners stream

Personal Compensation stream

Resource and Planning stream

The Protective Division (Guardianship and Mental Health Streams) hearings will continue to be convened remotely for a further period of time.  The Tribunal wishes to ensure the safety of all persons who attend the Tribunal premises and given the existing configuration and size of hearings room used for the Protective Division (and the limitations of the number of persons who can be appropriately accommodated in those rooms), it is preferable to defer a return to in person hearings at this time.

The timeframe for return to in-person hearings for the Protective Division will be actively reviewed having regard to the advice received from Public Health.  The Tribunal will advise all stakeholders of any forthcoming changes as soon as practicable.

Please note, any persons who attend the Tribunal premises must ensure compliance with the Safety Plan or Public Health requirements of the Tribunal which are set out on the Tribunal website here.  These include proof of up-to-date vaccination, wearing of masks, social distancing, hand sanitization  and such other directions that officers of the Tribunal may issue as required.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: WEARING OF MASKS ON TRIBUNAL PREMISES

The Tribunal's COVID Safety Plan continues to require that visitors and staff wear masks when they attend the public areas of the Tribunal's premises.

This includes the reception area, all public hallways, lifts and hearing rooms.

Please ensure that you bring a mask with you if you are attending Tribunal proceedings. This requirement is to ensure the safety of staff and members of the public given the size and configuration of our hearing rooms and public spaces.

The Tribunal thanks you in anticipation of your assistance in maintaining the safety of visitors to our premises.

COVID-19 Safety Requirement for TASCAT:

The Tribunal must ensure it complies with Public Health requirements in managing the safety of the public and staff arising from COVID19 as well as Departmental directions for the health and safety of staff and visitors to its premises.

Requirements for attending Tribunal premises are set out below.

  1. Any visitor (whether a party to proceedings or a member of the public) who wishes to attend the Tribunal premises must be fully vaccinated.
  2. PLEASE NOTE:  You will be required to provide evidence of your vaccination status when you arrive at the Tribunal premises.
  3. If you are a party to any proceedings before the Tribunal and you are not vaccinated or you do not wish to disclose your vaccination status, you must advise the Tribunal before your hearing date.
  4. The Tribunal will make arrangements for you to appear by telephone or video conference.
  5. If the Tribunal has specifically ordered that you must appear in person at its premises (such as by issuing a summons), and you are not vaccinated, you must advise the Tribunal prior to you attending the premises. The Tribunal will contact you to advise of the arrangements for your visit, which will include you wearing of a face mask while on the premises.  PLEASE NOTE: a specific order must issue from the Tribunal that you attend in person – notification of a hearing date is NOT an order requiring your attendance in person.

General requirements:

A person must not attend the premises if they:

  • have COVID19;
  • have been instructed to quarantine or isolate and their quarantine or isolation period is not yet finished;
  • have been issued with a stay at home order; or
  • are unwell, including with fever (or signs of fever, including chills or night sweats), runny nose, cough, sore/itchy throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell.

When at the Tribunal premises

  • Sanitize hands when entering or exiting the premises;
  • Follow all directions from Tribunal staff as to seating and room capacity in Tribunal rooms;
  • Maintain 1.5 metres distance between persons while in hearing rooms or common areas;
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with elbow or tissues (and safely disposing of tissues).

How the Tribunal will determine who may attend in person

Please note that because of limits of how many people may be allowed in a room, not everyone who wishes to attend a hearing in person may be able to do so.

Each Stream will determine who will be given priority to attend in person in a hearing room.

Generally however, parties to any proceedings, their representatives and witnesses will always be given priority.

Any members of the public who may wish to observe any open hearings will only be allocated any surplus seating after the parties have been given priority. Any surplus seating will then be allocated to observers based on their arrival time at the premises.

Updated: 15th March 2022