Huge VCAT fee rises – state govt wants user-pays!

Just when you thought planning “reforms” couldn’t get much worse…..

After all the other undemocratic and deregulatory planning reforms of the last year or so – to add injury to insult, the Attorney General has decided that VCAT should operate on a user-pays basis.

It was originally intended that from March this year, the cost of lodging a VCAT appeal would jump from $322 to $732, and to over $1000 by 2015. There are other large fee increases proposed as well, including mediation which is free at present.  A summary of the proposed fees for planning matters is attached below.

This would appear to be totally against the original rationale that the tribunal should be a low-cost, accessible avenue of review for ordinary citizens.

However, there have been a large number of submissions on the new fees proposal and only two weeks to assess them and incorporate any changes before the original introduction date of March 1. 

Consequently, the Attorney-General has obviously had to re-think the situation.  As of mid-March, there has still been no information about when the new charges might be introduced nor what changes might be made.

For more information, go to the Justice Dept website:

Email address:

Submissions against this “justice for the rich” via the Dept of Justice website closed on 15 February.    Here are some key submissions on the proposed VCAT fees:

SOS Submision

EDO (Environment Defenders Office) submission

PIA (Planning Institute of Aust., Vic) submission