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Section 150 conferences

What is a section 150 conference?

During a future act inquiry, the Tribunal may direct the parties to attend a case management conference, known as a ‘section 150 conference’.

The Tribunal can hold a section 150 Conference at any stage of an inquiry to help in resolving any matter relevant to the inquiry. The Tribunal can provide this assistance by way of mediation, facilitation or case management.

How do I request a section 150 conference?

Any party to a future act inquiry may ask the Tribunal to hold a section 150 conference. Requests should be made to the presiding Member at a conference before the Member or through a staff member assisting the Member. You can also request a section 150 conference by email to or by post to your local Tribunal office.

How will a section 150 conference assist?

Section 150 conferences can be a forum for further negotiation with assistance from the Tribunal. Through the conference, parties can gain a better understanding of the issues and options for agreement, which may result in a more satisfactory outcome than a determination.

Section 150 conferences can also assist the parties to identify and narrow the issues in dispute, which can help to reduce the costs of participating in the inquiry.

Mediation under section 31(3) is still available to parties involved in an inquiry into a future act determination application. If parties wish to continue negotiating while the inquiry takes place, they should apply to the Tribunal for mediation assistance under section 31(3) rather than seeking a section 150 conference.  

What to expect in a section 150 conference

Section 150 conferences may be conducted by a Tribunal Member or a staff member, who acts as the convenor. If the section 150 conference is conducted by a Tribunal Member, that Member may not participate in the inquiry unless the parties otherwise agree. The convenor may oversee a series of conferences, assisted by a Tribunal staff member. Parties may participate in the conferences on their own behalf or through a representative and participants can attend in person, over videoconference or by telephone.

Typically, the convenor will invite the parties to outline the background of the negotiations and identify issues that need to be resolved. The convenor will then facilitate discussion of the issues to assist parties to reach agreement. If any issues cannot be resolved during the conference, the convenor will identify the action items or outcomes on which the parties have agreed and adjourn the section 150 conference to a later date. If a full agreement cannot be reached, the convenor will encourage the parties to identify any issues they can agree on, to narrow the scope of the inquiry. 

Section 150 conferences are confidential and without prejudice, to the extent allowed by law. Evidence may not be given, and statements may not be made, during the inquiry about any words spoken or acts done at a section 150 conference unless the parties otherwise agree.

The Tribunal expects that any conferences held under section 150 will run in parallel with the inquiry process.