Cultural heritage management disputes

VCAT can hear and determine a limited number of disputes under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

These are about:

  • the approval of Cultural Heritage Management Plans made under section 116
  • a decision to refuse to issue a Cultural Heritage Permit made under section 121
  • the conditions included in a Cultural heritage Permit (also made under section 121)
  • about Protection Declarations made under section 126. 

Time limits

In many of these applications, there will be time limits within which you must make your application. The decision-making authority should be able to give you advice about applying to VCAT and any other associated time limits.

Otherwise you will need to refer to the specific Act or its regulations to discover if there is a time limit. Read more about time limits for lodging applications in the Planning and Environment Division.

Extension of time to apply

Under section 126 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, VCAT can extend the time to apply. We can extend the time by which you must make an application to VCAT – if it is reasonable to do so and if extending time would not cause any prejudice or detriment to a party or potential party that cannot be remedied by an appropriate order for costs or damages.

Complete and submit the Application for an extension of time form to apply for more time to lodge an application.


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.

Make an application

You may have to pay a fee with your application. Read more about fees at VCAT and how to apply for fee relief.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You may have a legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT (such as a lawyer, town planner, relative, or some other person). In Planning and Environment cases you do not need to have VCAT's permission to be represented.

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.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Useful resources

Organisations that may be able to help you

VCAT can't offer you legal advice. Below are organisations that may be able to help with your case.

Aboriginal Victoria

Community strengthening and engagement, cultural heritage management and protection.