Building Act 1993 (review)
This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.
VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Building Practitioners Board under the Building Act 1993.
These types of decisions were previously reviewed by the Building Appeals Board.
'Building practitioner' means:
- building surveyor, building inspector or quantity surveyor
- engineer engaged in the building industry
- draftsperson who carries on a business of preparing plans for building work or preparing documentation relating to permits or permit applications
- builder including a domestic builder
- person who erects or supervises the erection of prescribed temporary structures
- person responsible for a building project or any stage of a building project and who belongs to a class or category of people prescribed to be building practitioners.
Cases we can hear
Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board refusing (or failing to within a reasonable time) to register an applicant as a building practitioner.
Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board deciding to:
- require payment of costs of or incidental to the inquiry
- require the doing of a specified thing, including to complete or rectify specified building work
- require an undertaking not to do a specified thing
- require completion of a specified course of training
- impose a fine (there are preconditions)
- suspend registration for not more than three years
- cancel registration or disqualify the person from being registered for a specified period of up to three years
- impose a condition or limitation on registration.
This will follow the Building Practitioners Board making findings such as that a practitioner:
- is guilty of unprofessional conduct
- has failed to comply with the Building Act or Regulations
- has been guilty of gross negligence or gross incompetence, concerning building work
- is not a fit and proper person to practice as a building practitioner.
Appeals against suspension pending inquiry
Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board suspending the practitioner's registration, pending the holding and determination of an inquiry, if the Building Practitioners Board considers it is in the public interest to do so.
Owner builder certificate refusal appeals
Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board refusing to issue an owner builder a certificate of consent for domestic building work.
Alleged failure of Building Practitioners Board to conduct inquiry into conduct
Applications for review by the Victorian Building Authority or a person who requested the Building Practitioners Board to conduct a conduct inquiry on the basis that the Building Practitioners Board failed to conduct the inquiry within a reasonable time or refused to conduct it.
Applications for review of a decision by the Building Practitioners Board
Decision by the Building Practitioners Board:
- suspending a person's registration due to not paying an annual fee and/or not providing proof of insurance
- suspending a person's registration on becoming aware that a person's insurance has ceased
- cancelling or suspending a licence, under section 180, because of physical or mental disability.
Transfer of existing Building Appeals Board cases to VCAT
At the request of an appellant to the Building Appeals Board (where the board has not accepted a written submission from a party or commenced conducting a hearing) the board must transfer the proceeding to VCAT.
For owner builder certificate refusals, the applicant has 30 days to apply for a review.
For registration appeals and conduct appeals, the applicant has 60 days to apply.
In conduct appeals, the Building Practitioners Board's decision will be automatically stayed under section 146, until VCAT makes a decision.
VCAT has power to extend those times.
Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications
Building Act 1993 – sections 182A and 221ZZZP.
If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.
What can VCAT order?
Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:
- affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
- vary the decision
- set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
- set aside the decision and remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
- invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.