Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (review)
VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958.
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.
The Country Fire Authority Act 1958 establishes the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Fire Rescue Victoria and directs them to set processes promoting collaboration and co-ordination between fire services agencies.
Cases we can hear
You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review if:
- the CFA made a decision that requires you to pay it prescribed fees and charges for attending a false alarm in a country area
- you are an owner of a property in a designated country area and the CFA has required you to form an industry brigade.
Cases we can't help with
We can’t accept:
- some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
- cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law.
Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications
Section 20B(7) and section 23AA(4) of the Country Fire Authority Act 1958
Documents you need to apply
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.
You must apply within 28 days from the time:
- the decision was made, or
- if you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.
If you apply outside of the time limit, VCAT may extend the time for making an application. You must ask for an extension of time by indicating this on the ‘extension of time’ question of the application form and briefly explaining why your application was late.
VCAT will ask the decision maker if they agree to any extension. If the decision maker does not agree, VCAT may hold a preliminary hearing before deciding whether to grant an extension.
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 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.
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.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.
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.