Legislative appeal mechanisms

If you are an exporter, registered premises operator or Australian Government Accredited Veterinarian and you are not satisfied with a decision the department has made, or you are a person whose interests have been affected by a relevant decision, you may be able to seek review of that decision.

Options for review include applying for internal reconsideration of the decision or an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for merits review. Decisions that have been internally reconsidered can also be reviewed by the AAT.

Which options are available depends on the kind of decision that has been made. Please refer to the tables below for further information.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act) prescribes who may apply for review of a decision (s27, AAT Act). Where the AAT Act, or another enactment provides an application may be made to the AAT for review, the application may be made by or on behalf of any person whose interests are affected by the decision.

The time limit to apply to the AAT for review of a decision commences on the day the decision is made, and expires 28 days after the decision is received.

Please note the start of the 28 day timeframe may vary depending on the circumstances. Relevantly:

  • If the applicant requests (in accordance with s28(1) of the AAT Act) the person who made the decision give a statement of reasons, the 28 day timeframe commences when they receive that statement, or when they receive notice that their request has been declined (s29 AAT Act).
  • If the decision maker fails to make a decision in the timeframe specified in the relevant legislation, the decision is deemed to have been made at the expiry of that period. The timeframe is then 28 days from when the decision is deemed to have been made (s29(3) AAT Act).
Livestock licensing decisions made under the Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997
Description of decisionReview
Internal reconsideration AAT review
The decision to refuse the grant of an export licence (being either a meat export licence or live-stock export licence) (s10).Not availableAvailable under s 14(1).
The decision to give written directions to be complied with by the holder of an export licence (s17).Available under s 20(2).
A decision made in relation to extending the period within which an application for renewal of an export licence may be made, whether or not the period has ended or the licence has expired (s22(2)).Available under s 22(9).
The decision to suspend an export licence (s23).Available under s 23(8).

In relation to an export licence, the decision under s24(1) following a show cause notice to the holder of an export licence to:

  1. cancel the licence;
  2. determine that the licence not be renewed (if the licence is about to expire);
  3. suspend the licence (if the licence is not already suspended);
  4. further suspend the licence for a specified period (if the licence is already suspended); or
  5. reprimand the holder of the licence.
Available under s 24(4).
Livestock licensing decisions made under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Export Licensing) Regulations 1998
Description of decisionReview
Internal reconsideration AAT review

The decision to refuse a variation of a licence (reg 19).

Not availableAvailable under reg 19(6).
Decisions made under the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004
Description of decisionReview
Internal reconsideration AAT review
All decisions made by the Secretary or authorised officer under the Animals Order, other than a decision to grant an export permit or a government certificate.

Available under s6.03 of the Animals Order and Part 16 of the Export Control (Prescribed Goods — General) Order 2005 (Prescribed Goods Order) to a person whose interests are affected by the decision. This person may apply to the Secretary to reconsider the decision (s16.02(1)), Prescribed Goods Order).

The application must be in writing, set out the reasons for the application and be lodged with the Secretary within 28 days after the date on which the relevant decision first came to the notice of the applicant (or within such further period as the Secretary allows) (s16.02(2)), Prescribed Goods Order).

Available under s6.03 of the Animals Order and Part 16 of the Prescribed Goods Order.
Application to the AAT can be made by or on behalf of a person whose interests are affected by the decision (s16.05, Prescribed Goods Order).

Application to the AAT can only be made for decisions that have been subject to internal reconsideration under s16.03 of the Prescribed Goods Order (s16.05, Prescribed Goods Order).

Judicial review

A person who is unsatisfied with the department's decision may apply on specified grounds for judicial review of that decision under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (ADJT Act)or the Judiciary Act 1903.

The time frame for review under the ADJR Act commences on the day the decision is made, and expires 28 days after the decision is received (s11(3)).

Please note if the applicant requests (in accordance with s13(1) of the ADJR Act) the person who made the decision give a statement of reasons, the 28 day timeframe commences when they receive that statement, or when they receive notice that their request has been declined (s11(3) ADJR Act).

Ombudsman investigation

A complainant may request the Commonwealth Ombudsman to investigate a complaint.


Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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