Fisheries Act 1995
VCAT can review decisions made by the Victorian Fisheries Authority under the Fisheries Act 1995 about licences, permits and the transfer of quota units.
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 Fisheries Act 1995 established a legislative framework for the regulation, management and conservation of Victorian fisheries and aquatic habitats. The system of licences, permits and the transfer of quota units is also established as part of the Act’s regulatory framework.
Reviews we can hear
We can review decisions by Victorian Fisheries Authority to:
- refuse to issue a licence or renew a licence
- refuse to approve the transfer of a fishery licence
- vary any fishery licence or permit
- impose, vary or revoke any condition in a fishery licence or permit
- refuse to issue a general permit on the basis that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to hold the permit
- refuse to place the name of a person on an access licence
- defer the renewal of a licence due to non-compliance
- refuse approval of a transfer of individual quota units
- refuse approval of a transfer of individual abalone quota units
- suspend or refuse to renew or transfer a licence.
All other reviewable decisions stated in the regulations can also be heard at VCAT.
Disputed compensation claims we can hear
As the Victorian Fisheries Authority or the claimant, you can apply for the determination of a disputed compensation claim under Part 11 of the Act.
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
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 make your application within 28 days of being notified of Victorian Fisheries Authority's decision.
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.
Putting the original decision on hold
In most cases, applying for a review does not put the original decision on hold and that decision stands until VCAT makes its decision.
If you want the original decision put on hold, you must ask for this by indicating you want a ‘stay’ on the application form and briefly explaining why you are seeking a stay.
It may not be possible to put the decision on hold if there would be no practical effect in doing so.
VCAT will ask the decision maker if they agree to any stay. If the decision maker does not agree, VCAT may hold a preliminary hearing before deciding whether to grant a stay.
What can VCAT order?
In a review, 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 wish 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.