Wildlife Act 1975 (review)

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.

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Secretary to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries or the Game Management Authority about licences, authorisations or permits granted under the Wildlife Act 1975.

The Wildlife Act 1975 does not apply to fish within the meaning of the Fisheries Act 1995.

Cases we can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of the Secretary or the Authority’s decision to:

  • refuse to grant a licence, authorisation or permit
  • refuse to renew a licence, authorisation or permit
  • suspend or cancel a licence, authorisation or permit


  • you have made the application for the particular decision or
  • you are the holder of the licence, permit or authorisation which was the subject of the decision or failure to decide.

You may also be able to apply to VCAT for a review if the Secretary or the Authority has failed to make such a decision within a reasonable time.

Cases we cannot hear

VCAT cannot review decisions made under the Act by authorised officers or police officers to take enforcement action under the Act, including to search or seize, obtain a search warrant, issue a notice, or institute legal proceedings for alleged offences under the Act.

VCAT cannot review decisions of the Governor-in Council in relation to authorisation orders under Part IIIB.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Different parts of the Act set out the decisions the Secretary or Authority can make that VCAT can review:

  • wildlife and game licences [Part III]
  • authorisations to do certain things in relation to wildlife [Part IIIA]
  • permits to do certain things in relation to whales, whale-watching tour permits, whale swim tour permits [Part X]; seal tour permits [Part XA].

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 make your application within 28 days after the later of the day on which

  • 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.

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 remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker Definition A person who makes or has made a decision under legislation that gives them this authority. giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case .

More about how we resolve your case

Read more about hearings at VCAT, professional representation, access and privacy and communicating with VCAT.