Environment and Planning – courts and tribunals with
environment jurisdiction – Queensland – Planning and
Environment Court – procedure – other matters where the
parties, by consent, the ADR Registrar of the Planning &
Environment Court of Queensland to hear and determine the appeal
before the court – where appeal was heard and allowed by the
ADR Registrar – whether the ADR Registrar had jurisdiction to
hear and decide the appeal
Facts: In these proceedings, the Court was
required to determine whether the Court's ADR Registrar lacked
jurisdiction to hear and decide an appeal under s.491B of the
Sustainable Planning 2009 (SPA).
The appeal had been heard by the Registrar and a decision had been
given. Council had applied under s.491B(5) of the SPA for a review
by the Court of the Registrar's decision. In so doing, it
contended that the Registrar lacked jurisdiction to allow the
appeal because of the operation of Practice Direction 6 of 2013 (PD
Section 491B(1) provided that the Chief Judge may issue
directions about the matters in which the Registrar may exercise a
power of the Court. S.491B(2) enabled the Court to direct the
Registrar to hear and decide a proceeding. S.492 of the SPA
provided that the procedure for hearing an appeal was to be under
the Rules of the Court, and the orders or directions of the Court
or the Chief Judge.
PD 6/2013 referred to s.491B(1) of the SPA, and Rule 19 of the
Planning and Environment Court Rules 2010 (P&E
Court Rules). Its purpose was to provide for the Registrar
to exercise the power of the Court to make an order or issue a
direction, in particular circumstances. Those circumstances
included, relevantly, where "the ADR Registrar has been
directed to hear and decide the proceeding". PD 6/2013
defined the term "order" as not including a
final order or judgment.
The Council contended that where the Registrar was directed to
hear an appeal under s.491B(2), s.492 was engaged so as to require
compliance with PD 6/2013. Accordingly, it was submitted, that the
definition of "order" in PD 6/2013 had the
consequence that the Registrar may not make a final order or a
Mr West contended that the heads of power conferred by s.491B(1)
and (2) were separate and distinct, that the latter conferred a
specific power upon the Court to order the Registrar to hear and
decide a proceeding; that the power was not limited by s.491B(1) or
PD 6/2013; and that PD 6/2013 allowed the Registrar to make
interlocutory orders or directions about a proceeding that the
Registrar had been directed to hear and decide under s.491B(2).
Decision: Held, that the ADR Registrar had
jurisdiction to allow the appeal, and that:
The Council's contentions as to the effect of s.492 of the
SPA and PD 6/2013 should be rejected.
The language in PD 6/2013 reflected the language of Rule 19(1)
of the P&E Court Rules.
The effect of PD 6/2013 was to authorise the Registrar to make
orders and issue directions of an interlocutory or procedural
nature about those proceedings which had been referred by the Court
for hearing and decision.
Neither PD 6/2013 nor s.492 operated to limit or fetter the
jurisdiction conferred upon the Registrar by a direction of the
Court under s.491B(2) to decide a proceeding.
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