There used to be a saying. Those who can do. Those who can’t teach. Those who can’t teach administrate.
Well. It’s not new. It’s an annual event. If not annual, it happens too regularly.
The Commonwealth Government, through the Attorney General appoints a bunch of people to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and the other side yells mates and bias. And the annual whinge festival started again last week.
But let’s go to first principles – what is the AAT? Well the AAT is another Gough Whitlam gift that keeps on giving:
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. We review decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government bodies. We also review decisions made under Norfolk Island laws.
The AAT was established by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and commenced operations on 1 July 1976.
According to its website, the AAT has 465 (full and part time) members. 465! This does not count the administrators to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (or other managers).
Rather than engaging in this political barn dance of who appointed whose mates and you appointed your mates, is it possible to just reduce the number of “administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws” so that the need for AAT members is reduced?
Yes. TAFKAS realises that this may result in fewer laws, fewer regulations and fewer government administrators making decisions. But he can dream.