Marine Safety Act 2010 (review)

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Safety Director under the Marine Safety Act 2010.

This page provides general information and shouldn't be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you're unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

VCAT cannot review prosecution or enforcement decisions.

Cases we can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review if you are an eligible person regarding:

  • a reviewable decision of the Safety Director
  • a decision made by the Safety Director on an internal review under section 289 of the Act.

Under section 289 of the Act, you may first apply to the Safety Director for an internal review of a reviewable decision before applying to VCAT. See section 289 of the Act and note that time limits apply to applications for internal review and applications to VCAT for review.

Under section 264 of the Act, the Safety Director may conduct an inquiry into a marine safety matter. If an inquiry commences, the Safety Director can suspend a permission or exemption for up to 14 days. The Safety Director may apply to VCAT for an extension of the suspension period imposed under section 265 of the Act.  


Reviewable decision

A reviewable decision means a decision of the Safety Director to:

  • not grant or issue a permission
  • suspend, cancel or revoke a permission
  • impose or vary a condition of a permission
  • issue a written direction.


A permission means any of the following:

  • a marine licence
  • an endorsement on a marine licence
  • a harbour master licence
  • a pilot licence
  • a pilot exemption
  • a local knowledge certificate
  • registration as a pilotage services provider under Chapter 7 of the Act
  • registration of a vessel
  • an accreditation.

Eligible person

An eligible person means a person who has:

  • applied for a permission
  • held, or holds a permission, or
  • has been given a direction by the Safety Director.

Cases we cannot hear

VCAT cannot review decisions to prosecute a person under the Act for alleged offences, or in respect of any of the enforcement provisions of the Act, including seizure, impoundment or immobilisation decisions.

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 265 and 290 of the Marine Safety Act 2010

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.

Time limits

You must apply within 28 days of:

  • the decision being made, or
  • if you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the statement of reasons being given to you or are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.

You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.

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

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

Make an application

You may have to pay a fee to apply to VCAT to review a decision. Learn more about fees or apply for fee relief.

Print-friendly application form

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You don't 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.