Date: 19 January 2021
Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Tribunal Member: Member Traves
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: N/A
Rights Considered: N/A
Other Legislation: Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) ss 7, 113, 127, 174A, 226
Keywords: Discrimination
Visit the judgement: River Glen Haven Over 50s Village [2021] QCAT 26

This case concerned age discrimination pertaining to an application for an exemption from section 127 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). The company in question had in its trading name ‘over 50s village’ which was found to contravene this section. Given this finding, the Tribunal did not engage in an analysis of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) despite submissions by the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

Mr Peter Hajdu applied for an exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (‘the Act’) on behalf of the River Glen Partnership (‘the applicant’). The application sought to keep the company’s trading name ‘River Glen Haven Over 50s Village’ on the grounds that the company had always advertised with this name, the advertising attracted their desired demographic, and it would be inconvenient and costly to amend their advertising material: at [1], [21].

Member Traves pointed out that one of the Tribunal’s functions under section 174A of the Act includes granting exemptions. More specifically, under section 113, on application, the Tribunal may exempt a person, people or class of people from the operation of a specified provision of the Act: at [2]. Member Traves also noted that before deciding an application, the Tribunal must give the Queensland Human Rights Commission (‘QHRC’) a copy of the application, a copy of the material filed in support of the application, and have regard to any submission made by the QHRC: at [3].

The primary issue before the Tribunal was whether the applicant could be exempt from the operation of section 127 of the Act which pertains to discriminatory advertisements. Member Traves held that ‘to publish or display an advertisement that describes the River Glen Haven accommodation as a facility for people over the age of 50 years would … indicate that a person intends to act in a way that contravenes [the Act]’ and this was ‘sufficient to constitute a breach of [section] 127’: at [18]. Member Traves further found that the applicant’s grounds for exemption were insufficient and the application was ultimately dismissed: at [25]. In light of the dismissal and his decision, Member Traves held that there was ‘no need to consider the submissions made by the QHRC in relation to the application of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)’: at [25].

Visit the judgement: River Glen Haven Over 50s Village [2021] QCAT 26