Application for a declaration under environment and resources laws

VCAT has the power to make declarations or an order under some environment and natural resources laws.

A declaration can determine the meaning or effect of provisions in an act, notice, licence, permit or the like. A declaration or order may also be used to decide whether a decision made by the original decision-making authority is valid.

You may apply under the following planning and environment laws:

In some cases, declarations can only be made by a presidential member of VCAT. In other cases declarations can only be made by either a presidential member or another member who is a lawyer.

How to respond to an application you have received notice about

If you believe your interests will be affected by an application made by another person, you can participate in the case if you received notice about it.

To participate, you must submit a statement of grounds within the time limit stated on the notice of the application.

Submit Statement of Grounds online

Time limits

Time limits do not apply to an application for a declaration relating to the environment.


We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Make an application

You may have to pay a fee with your application. Read more about fees at VCAT and how to apply for fee relief.

If you have any difficulties with applying online, contact us on 1300 01 8228 and select 5.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You may have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT (such as a lawyer, relative, or some other person). In Environment and Resources cases you do not need to have VCAT's permission to be represented.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Other organisations that may help

VCAT can't offer you legal advice. Below are organisations that may be able to help with your case.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Information on land planning, property and land titles and land administration.

Know Your Council

Find your local council and understand how councils make decisions on planning permits.