(1) There is to be an Optometrists Tribunal for the purposes of this Act.(2) The Tribunal is to be constituted in accordance with this Act to deal with a matter referred to it or an appeal or application made to it under this Act.(3) The Tribunal has and may exercise the jurisdiction and functions conferred or imposed on it by or under this or any other Act.
(1) The Governor may appoint an Australian lawyer of at least 7 years’ standing as Chairperson of the Tribunal and may appoint one or more Australian lawyers of at least 7 years’ standing as Deputy Chairpersons of the Tribunal.(2) The Chairperson and each Deputy Chairperson hold office for such period not exceeding 7 years as may be specified in the instrument of appointment as Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson, but are eligible (if otherwise qualified) for re-appointment.(3) A Deputy Chairperson can be appointed by the Governor for the purpose of conducting or hearing a particular inquiry or appeal, as described in the instrument of appointment of the Deputy Chairperson.(4) A Deputy Chairperson, while sitting on the Tribunal, has and may exercise all the functions conferred or imposed on the Chairperson by this Act (other than those conferred by section 105 (2)).(4A) If the period of a person’s appointment as Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson expires while the person is sitting on the Tribunal for the purposes of an inquiry or an appeal, the person may, despite that expiry, continue to sit on the Tribunal for the purpose of that inquiry or appeal (the continuing inquiry or appeal).(4B) For the purposes of the conduct or hearing of the continuing inquiry or appeal (and any provision of this Act or the regulations with respect to such an inquiry or an appeal), the person referred to in subsection (4A):(a) is taken to be a Deputy Chairperson, and(b) has and may exercise only the functions conferred or imposed on a Deputy Chairperson under this Act, and(c) may exercise those functions only in respect of the continuing inquiry or appeal.(5) The Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson sitting on the Tribunal is entitled to be paid such remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) as the Minister may from time to time determine in respect of each of them.(6) The Governor may appoint a Deputy Chairperson to act in the office of Chairperson during the illness or absence of the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson, while so acting, has and may exercise all the functions of the Chairperson and is taken to be the Chairperson.(7) Part 2 of the Public Sector Management Act 1988 does not apply to or in respect of the appointment of the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson.
(1) The Board is to inform the Chairperson and appoint 3 other persons to sit on the Tribunal when:(a) a complaint or other matter is referred to the Tribunal, or(b) the Commission decides, in accordance with the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, to prosecute a complaint before the Tribunal, or(c) an appeal or application under this Act to the Tribunal is lodged with the Registrar.(2) The Chairperson is then to nominate himself or herself or a Deputy Chairperson to sit on the Tribunal for the purpose of conducting an inquiry into the complaint, matter or application or hearing the appeal.(3) For the purpose of conducting an inquiry or hearing an appeal, the Tribunal is to consist of:(a) the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson, and(b) 2 registered optometrists having such qualifications as may be prescribed, appointed by the Board, and(c) one lay person (that is, a person who is not a registered optometrist) appointed by the Board from a panel of lay persons for the time being nominated by the Minister.(4) A person may not be appointed to sit on the Tribunal if the person is a member of the Board.(5) A person may not be appointed to sit on the Tribunal if the person has previously dealt with the particular matter before the Tribunal in his or her capacity as a member of the Board or the Committee.(6) The Tribunal, as constituted by different persons or the same persons, may conduct or hear more than one inquiry or appeal at the same time.
(1) If one of the members (other than the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson) constituting the Tribunal for the purpose of conducting a hearing vacates office for any reason before an inquiry or appeal is completed or a decision is made in respect of an inquiry or appeal, the inquiry or appeal may be continued and a determination made by the remaining members of the Tribunal.(2) If more than one of the members vacate office or the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson vacates office for any reason before the Tribunal has completed an inquiry or appeal or made a determination in respect of an inquiry or appeal, the inquiry or appeal is terminated.(3) When an inquiry or appeal is terminated, the Tribunal may be reconstituted in accordance with this Part for the purposes of conducting a new inquiry or appeal in respect of the matter concerned.
A member of the Tribunal (other than the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson) is while sitting on the Tribunal entitled to be paid by the Board at the rate determined by the Minister from time to time.
The Tribunal is to have a seal of which all courts and persons acting judicially are to take judicial notice.
(1) The decision of the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson on any question of law or procedure arising during an inquiry or appeal at which the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson presides is the decision of the Tribunal for the purposes of the inquiry or appeal.(2) A decision supported by at least 3 members of the Tribunal with respect to a question (other than with respect to a point of law or procedure) arising during an inquiry or appeal before the Tribunal is the decision of the Tribunal.(3) If 2 members support the decision and 2 members oppose the decision, the decision of the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson presiding is the decision of the Tribunal.
An order of the Tribunal under this Act takes effect on the day on which the order is made or on such later day as is specified in the order.
A power of the Tribunal exercised under this Act by the Supreme Court is, except for the purposes of any appeal, taken to have been exercised by the Tribunal.
The Tribunal is to inform the Registrar of the exercise of any power under Part 4 (Complaints and disciplinary proceedings) by the Tribunal.
(1) The members of the Tribunal are to conduct an inquiry into any complaint, matter or application and are to hear any appeal referred to it.(2) No inquiry need be conducted into a complaint if the optometrist who is the subject of the complaint admits the subject-matter of the complaint in writing to the Tribunal.
The Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson nominated to sit on the Tribunal is to fix a time and place for the conducting of the inquiry or the hearing of the appeal by the Tribunal and is to give not less than 14 days’ notice of the inquiry or appeal to each of the following:(a) the optometrist concerned,(b) the complainant, if any,(c) the Director-General and the Board,(d) in the case of an appeal or an inquiry into a complaint, the Commission.
(1) The Tribunal is to conduct proceedings on an inquiry or appeal as it thinks fit.(2) Proceedings of the Tribunal are to be open to the public except when the Tribunal otherwise directs.(3) The Tribunal is not to direct that proceedings are to be closed to the public unless satisfied that it is desirable to do so in the public interest for reasons connected with the subject-matter of the inquiry or appeal or the nature of the evidence to be given.(4) The Tribunal may proceed to determine an inquiry or appeal in the absence of the optometrist.(5) Schedule 5 has effect with respect to the conduct of any inquiry and the hearing of any appeal by the Tribunal.
(1) At an inquiry conducted or appeal heard by the Tribunal, the registered optometrist and any complainant concerned are entitled to attend and to be represented by an Australian legal practitioner or another adviser.(2) The Tribunal may grant leave for any other person to appear (whether in person or by an Australian legal practitioner or another adviser) at an inquiry or appeal if the Tribunal is satisfied that it is appropriate for that person to appear.
The Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson must not sit on the Tribunal for the purpose of conducting any inquiry or hearing any appeal relating to a particular matter before the Tribunal if a decision has been made by the Chairperson or a Deputy Chairperson in relation to the matter.
(1) The Tribunal may adjourn proceedings for any reason it thinks fit.(2) The Tribunal may, during any proceedings, exercise any power or combination of powers conferred on the Tribunal by section 57 (Powers of the Tribunal), except the power to caution or reprimand.
(1) The Tribunal must provide a written statement of a decision on an inquiry or appeal to the complainant, to the optometrist concerned and to the Board, and must do so as soon as practicable after the decision is made (bearing in mind the public welfare and seriousness of the matter).(2) The statement of a decision must:(a) set out any findings on material questions of fact, and(b) refer to any evidence or other material on which the findings were based, and(c) give the reasons for the decision.(3) The Tribunal may also provide the statement of a decision to such other persons as the Tribunal thinks fit.(4) The Board:(a) must make publicly available a statement of a decision provided to it under this section if the decision is in respect of a complaint that has been proved or admitted in whole or in part, and(b) may disseminate any other statement of a decision as the Board thinks fit,unless the Tribunal has ordered otherwise.
(1) The Tribunal is not required to include confidential information in the statement of a decision. If a statement would be false or misleading if it did not include the confidential information, the Tribunal is not required to provide the statement.(2) When confidential information is not included in the statement of a decision provided to a person or the statement is not provided to a person because of subsection (1), the Tribunal must give a confidential information notice to the person.(3) A confidential information notice is a notice that indicates that confidential information is not included or that the statement will not be provided (as appropriate) and gives the reasons for this. The notice must be in writing and must be given within one month after the decision is made.(4) This section does not affect the power of a court to make an order for the discovery of documents or to require the giving of evidence or the production of documents to a court.(5) In this section:
confidential information means information that:(a) has not previously been published or made available to the public when a written statement of a decision to which it is or may be relevant is being prepared, and(b) relates to the personal or business affairs of a person, other than a person to whom the Tribunal is required (or would, but for subsection (1), be required) to provide a written statement of a decision, and(c) is information:(i) that was supplied in confidence, or(ii) the publication of which would reveal a trade secret, or(iii) that was provided in compliance with a duty imposed by an enactment, or(iv) the provision of which by the Tribunal would be in breach of any enactment.