NCAT CLOSURE PUTTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE AT RISK

Labor Candidate for Gosford Liesl Tesch was joined today by Shadow Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation Yasmin Catley to call on the NSW Government to re-establish a dedicated NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) Hearing Venue on the Central Coast.

The only dedicated NCAT Hearing Venue for the Central Coast was previously located at the Gosford NSW Fair Trading Office which the Liberal Government recently relocated. The new Fair Trading Office does not cater for NCAT hearings.

NCAT Hearings are now held in numerous locations including Gosford and Woy Woy Courts, Erina Library and even as far off as Newcastle.

The closure of a dedicated NCAT Hearing Venue has sparked concern from local tenants advice and community legal groups who fear that services will not be adequately replicated while NCAT is forced to operate from multiple sites.

NSW Fair Trading paid up to $3 million to fit out the Gosford office before closing that office in December 2016.

Labor moved a motion in the NSW Parliament yesterday calling on the Government to immediately reverse this decision and re-open a designated NCAT Hearing Venue on the Central Coast.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation Yasmin Catley:

“The people who rely on the NCAT are often the most vulnerable particularly when dealing with tenancy matters.”

“The closure of a dedicated NCAT hearing venue has undermined the capacity of organisations like the Central Coast Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service to represent their clients at hearings.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Gosford Liesl Tesch:

“The NCAT is about conciliation not litigation, so it’s a concern to me that people are either being moved into a more intimidating court setting, or they have to travel far and wide just have their matter heard.

The people of the Central Coast deserve better than the current ad hoc approach.”

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