At the same time the Government proposed to amend the Tribunal Act, largely to improve the efficiency of the Tribunal.Restrictions on the way the Tribunal could be constituted were, for example, to be removed, in favour of conferring a broad discretion on the President.The reversal of the decision to replace the Tribunal was a very positive one for the Tribunal. Fortunately the then Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, was on our side.It gave the signal that the Tribunal's future was secure. In anticipation of the rundown, and final abolition of the Tribunal, the Department of Finance had characteristically removed funding from the Tribunal in advance. He arranged a meeting with the then Minister for Finance, Senator Nick Minchin.There were, however, two matters of concern to some people, which remained from the ART proposal.First, the requirement that the President should be a Federal Court judge was to be removed.I was appointed President of the Tribunal for a term of seven years from . I was appointed Acting President in 2002, 2003, 20.
I thought it might be appropriate to review what has happened to the Tribunal over my ten years.
The Tribunal Efficiencies Working Group, which had been established in February 2003, reported in June 2004.