The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

4.2.3 How to apply to the AAT for a review of a child support objection decision


A person who disagrees with an objection decision made by the Registrar can apply to the AAT for a review of that decision.

Act references

CSRC Act section 89, section 95A, section 95B, section 96A, section 97B, section 97C, section 111C

AAT Act section 29, section 41

Application requirements

A person can apply to the AAT for an AAT first review of an objection decision or a decision made by the Registrar to refuse an application for an extension of time to lodge an objection (CSRC Act section 89). A person can also apply to the AAT for an AAT second review of certain decisions relating to care percentage determinations and decisions by the AAT to refuse an extension of time to apply for a first review (CSRC Act section 96A).

An application for AAT first review of a child support related decision can be made by:

  • telephoning the AAT and making an oral application
  • going to a registry of the AAT and making an oral application
  • sending a completed AAT appeal form to the AAT, or
  • sending a written request for a review by the AAT to the AAT.

Applications for AAT second review must be made in writing to the AAT.

The application for first or second review must contain a statement of the reasons for the application and it must be lodged with the AAT within the prescribed time (see 4.2.4 for timeframes for lodging applications to the AAT). A statement of reasons is not required for oral applications.

Implementation of decisions that are under review

An objection decision continues to apply while an application for first review is under consideration by the AAT. The AAT does not have jurisdiction to order a stay or suspension of the objection decision (CSRC Act section 95A). However, a party to the AAT first review may apply to a court for a stay order in relation to the objection decision, pending the outcome of the AAT first review (CSRC Act section 111C).

The AAT does have the power, upon request from a party, to stay an objection decision or AAT first review decision about a care percentage decision pending the outcome of an AAT second review (CSRC Act section 97B and AAT Act section 41).

The Registrar may vary or substitute a decision after an application has been made for an AAT first or second review of the decision. In this situation, the Registrar must give written notice to the AAT of the variation or substitution and the AAT will treat the application for first or second review as though it relates to the varied or substituted decision. The person who applied for first or second review would need to notify the AAT if they do not want the AAT to review the varied or substituted decision (CSRC Act section 95B and section 97C).

More information on the AAT, including contact details, is available at the AAT website.

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