[Extract from Queensland Government Industrial Gazette, dated 23 February, 2007, Vol. 184, No. 8, pages 104-105] QUEENSLAND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION Industrial Relations Act 1999 - s. 280 - procedures for reopening Sharon Podmore AND Queensland Quality Embroidery (B/2007/3) COMMISSIONER BROWN DECISION This application, filed on 18 January 2007, sought to enliven an application for reinstatement (B/2004/1819) which had lapsed on 17 July 2005. The Industrial Relations Act 1999 (the Act) s. 75(4) states: "The application lapses if the applicant has not, within 6 months after the applicant has been informed by the commission under subsection (3) (a) taken any action in relation to the application ; or (b) discontinued the application.". Conciliation pursuant to s. 75(1) occurred on 17 December 2004 and in the absence of settlement the parties were issued a certificate in line with s. 75(3) on 18 January 2005. Both the Applicant and the Respondent acknowledged having received the certificate soon after 18 January 2005. The footnote to the certificate stated in bold capital letters: "NOTE: THE APPLICANT MUST, WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF 17 December 2004 OR SUCH OTHER DATE AS THE APPLICANT MAY RECEIVE THE CERTIFICATE, TAKE SOME ACTION IN RELATION TO THE APPLICATION OTHERWISE THE APPLICATION LAPSES.". The Applicant took no action in relation to the application following receipt of the certificate until lodging this application in 2007. Whilst I am of the view that the Act prevents the Commission from exercising a discretion in this matter similar to that exercised when extending the time in which an application for reinstatement should be lodged, I believe it would be helpful to touch on the reasons given by the Applicant for having failed to activate the matter. The Applicant's submissions and evidence were that: (1) her health prevented her from pursuing the matter in 2005; (2) it was a recent realisation that her health would not improve that prompted her to lodge this application in January 2007; and (3) she believed she had 3 years to pursue the matter. Further evidence from the Applicant was that her health had deteriorated consistently since January 2005 to the present and she saw more doctors and took more prescription medicine now than in the period January to July 2005. It is obvious that the health of the Applicant did not prevent her from lodging this application in January 2007 and, according to her evidence, her health was better in the January/July 2005 period than now. Given this, health alone would not have prevented her from furthering her application in 2005 in the timeframe prescribed by the Act. The mistaken belief on the Applicant's part that she had 3 years in which to activate her claim may have led to her inaction. However, considering the prominence and clarity of the advice regarding time restrictions contained in her certificate of 18 January 2005, it is difficult to comprehend how this mistake could have occurred. The Respondent submitted that in the time between 18 January 2005 and 17 July 2005 he received no information from the Applicant or anyone associated with the Applicant regarding the Applicant or the application. He further submitted that the documentation regarding this proceeding constituted the only connection with the Applicant since January 2005. These submissions were not challenged. 12 February 2007 2 The time between the issuing of the certificate and the filing of this application was 2 years. Whilst Rules 200 and 200A of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2000 stipulate the requirements for the reactivation of ageing or lapsed matters, it is my view that these rules relate generally to the broad range of applications dealt with by the Commission but not applications for reinstatement which are specifically dealt with in s. 75(4). The relevant Macquarie Dictionary definition for the word "lapse" is: "The termination of a right or privilege through neglect to exercise it or through failure of some contingency". Having considered the submissions, evidence and material, I find that there are no provisions in s. 75(4) or elsewhere in the Act that enable the Commission to exercise a discretion to enliven a lapsed application for reinstatement. The right for the Applicant to take the matter forward lapsed in July 2005. I dismiss the application. D.K. BROWN, Commissioner. Hearing Details: 2007 7 February Appearances: Ms S. Podmore on her own behalf. Mr J. Thompson on behalf of the Respondent. Released: 12 February 2007 Government Printer, Queensland The State of Queensland 2007.
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