Before you apply – Planning disputes

Disputes about decisions made on the use, development and subdivision of land, including planning permits, objections to planning permits and planning schemes.

Before you apply

Find out if you're in the right place

What we can help with

  • Review a planning permit decision made by a responsible authority, including a failure to make a decision
  • To cancel or amend a permit
  • Enforce a planning scheme, a planning permit or a 173 agreement
  • A refusal or failure to extend time for a permit
  • Declarations
  • Other planning disputes including disputes under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, Local Government Act 1989, Subdivision Act 1998 or Heritage Act 2017

What we can't help with

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We’ll explain the process, fees, timeframes and what you need to start your application
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Help and support

  • VCAT’s fees are set by the Victorian Government.

    We charge fees at VCAT in three categories:

    • standard
    • corporate
    • concession (Health Care Card).

    When you automatically pay no fees

    You don’t have to pay fees if you are:

    • represented by Victoria Legal Aid or a community legal centre
    • under 18 years of age 
    • in a prison or other public institution
    • a protected person or affected family member in a residential tenancies case.

    Who pays the ‘standard’ fee rate?

    People and businesses who pay the standard rate include:

    • individuals
    • sole trader businesses
    • businesses set up as a partnership
    • businesses with a turnover of less than $200,000 in the last financial year
    • not-for-profit organisations.

    If your company wants to apply as a standard fee payer, you need to provide a statutory declaration with your application that proves your turnover is less than $200,000.

    Who pays the ‘corporate’ rate?

    Businesses with a turnover of more than $200,000 in the last full financial year pay the corporate fee rate.

    For example, if you apply in April 2021, use the turnover from the 2019/2020 financial year.

    Schools and government organisations are part of this fee category.

    Who pays the ‘concession’ rate?

    VCAT fees are lower if you have a Health Care Card issued by the Federal Government. This is the only card we accept for concession fees.

    Health Care Card

    If you have another type of concession card, you don’t get a concession rate, but you may be eligible for fee relief. This means your fees could be waived, reduced or postponed.

    Pension Concession CardCommonwealth Sentiors Health Card

    Learn more about concessions and fee relief

    If you don’t fit the standard fee payer or a concession fee payer categories, you are automatically categorised as a corporate fee payer (for example, a school or a government department or agency.)

    When you make an application tell us what type of fee payer you are and provide proof of your status.

    The fee payer level applies to any fees payable throughout your case. You must apply separately for each case you want to bring to VCAT.

    If your financial circumstances or applicant type changes, your fees may change too.

    Your fee payer type may change if:

    • your financial circumstances change. For example, if you get a Health Care Card.
    • you change your application to apply as a different person. For example, if you want to apply under your business name and not as an individual.

    Tell us in writing about these changes. Make sure you include a copy of any relevant documents to prove this.

    Find out more about fees

  • We can help you understand what the form is asking. If you need to help to fill in the VCAT application form, talk to us.

    • Call us on 1300 018 228, Monday - Friday 9am - 4.30pm. For guardianship cases call us 9am - 5pm.
    • If you’re overseas, call us on +61 3 8685 1462.
    • If you need to speak to someone in your own language you can ask for an interpreter. Call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

    We can:

    • ask you questions about what you want
    • explain what the questions mean
    • explain what documents you need
    • explain the process.

    We can’t give you legal advice. This means we can’t:

    • tell you what to write
    • give you advice on how to present your case
    • give you advice on how to win the case.

    If you do choose to get legal advice, you’ll need to pay their fees (if any).

    If you want to talk about what you should do, you can access free or low-cost legal advice or find a private lawyer.

    See also What support can I get on the day at VCAT?

  • If you make an application using an online form, you pay the VCAT application fee online using a credit card when you submit your application. We accept only Mastercard or Visa.

    If you apply using a PDF form you can pay by phone, in person, or by post. You must organise this within 30 days of submitting your application.


    When you submit a VCAT application online, the forms ask you to pay with a credit card. 

    Choose your case type to find the right online application form.

    By phone

    Call 1300 01 8228 to pay with a credit card (9am – 4.30pm).

    In person

    Pay in person at 55 King Street, Melbourne between 9am – 4.30pm with a bank cheque, solicitor firm cheque or money order made out to the ‘Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’. We don’t accept personal cheques. 

    You can also pay by credit card at our other locations in Bundoora, Frankston and Oakleigh. We cannot accept payments by cash, cheque or money order at these three venues. 

    By post

    When you pay by post:

    • download and fill out the credit card payment form, or 
    • make out a bank cheque, solicitor firm cheque or money order to the ‘Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’. We don’t accept personal cheques. 

    Send your payment to GPO Box 5408, Melbourne VIC 3001 

    Find out what the fees are for your case type

  • If you apply with other people (as a group application), only one application fee is payable.

    The person, business or organisation who falls under the highest fee category is the one who must pay the fee. That fee covers everyone in the group.

    For example, if the group includes a business who falls under the ‘corporate’ fee category and a person who falls under the ‘concession’ category, the higher fee applies.

    Find out what the application fee is for your case type

  • VCAT cannot give legal advice. If you do choose to get legal advice, you will need to pay any costs. 

    If you want to talk about what you should do, you can access free or low-cost legal advice or find a private lawyer.
    If you want a lawyer or other professional representative to speak on your behalf at VCAT, let the other party know in writing before the hearing and ask permission when the hearing starts. You will need to explain why. 

    For some case types you have an automatic right to representation.

    If the claim is for goods and services under $15,000, we generally don’t allow a lawyer or other professional representative to speak for you at VCAT. 

    If you do choose to get legal advice, you’ll need to pay any costs. 

    Read more about legal and professional representation