Follow us


There are a number of changes to the Planning and Environment Act which are being undertaken in 2 stages. Stage 1 of the amendments commenced on 22 July. Some of the changes in Stage 1, such as the new provisions for the Planning Application Committee, are enabling provisions that will become effective once the appropriate administrative arrangements are in place.

The Stage 1 changes include:

  • Abolishing Development Assessment Committees.
  • Allowing a Planning Application Committee to be established.
  • Setting out the duties of a referral authority (Section 14A).
  • Making a referral authority, rather than the responsible authority, liable for compensation in certain circumstances.
  • Including referral authorities in the list of bodies that must act expeditiously.
  • Clarifying when a bond or guarantee can be required as a condition in a section 173 agreement.
  • Clarifying the allocation of liability for compensation arising from the reservation of land for a public purpose.
  • Allowing a responsible authority to amend a permit issued at the direction of VCAT, unless VCAT has specified that the permit may only be amended by VCAT. However, a permit holder can also still apply to VCAT for an amendment under section 87A of the Planning and Environment Act as previously.
  • Limiting the scope of VCAT to extend an expired permit. A permit holder is now able to request an extension of time to an existing permit before or within 6 months after the permit expiry date where the use or development has not yet started, and within 12 months after the permit expiry date where the development has lawfully started but is not yet complete. The new times apply to all extension of time requests. However, if a request is made out of time, the responsible authority cannot consider the request and the permit holder will not be able to apply to VCAT for a review of the matter.
  • Allowing VCAT to limit its review of a matter to the specific issues in dispute between the parties.
  • Altering the time for permit holders to request an extension of time for an expired permit.
  • Including a new definition for ‘business days’.

If you have any questions about the changes, don’t hesitate to contact our town planning team on 9682 8568.

Sign up