Electrical Safety Act 1998 (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 that Energy Safe Victoria or the Director of Energy Safety makes, or actions taken under the Electrical Safety Act 1998.

Cases we can hear

VCAT can review certain decisions to do with:

  • electrical contractors – licences, registrations, disciplinary action and supply of electrical safety certificates [decisions under Part 3 of the Act]
  • electrical equipment – refusal of certification of compliance, refusal or withdrawal of approval of prescribed electrical equipment; prohibitions of supply of electrical equipment; recalls or other requirements in respect of electrical equipment [decisions under Part 4 of the Act]
  • energy efficiency electrical equipment – refusals to register, withdrawals of registration, exemption from the regulations or revocation of exemption [decisions under Part 5 and the regulations]
  • rectification notices – decisions to give them or impose requirements
  • decisions of the Director [under s 141] to do certain things for safety reasons
  • improvement notices.

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of Energy Safe Victoria's or the Director's decision if:

  • you are a person who is aggrieved by a decision set out in section 69(2) of the Act to do with electrical contractors, electrical equipment, or energy efficiency electrical equipment
  • you have been given a rectification notice
  • you have been given a direction under section 141 of the Act
  • you have been given an improvement notice.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

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

Depending on the decision, you may have a seven or a 28 day period in which to apply. You should carefully read the document you have received.

Notices and directions

If you wish to apply for review of a decision in respect of:

  • a rectification notice
  • a direction under section 141
  • an improvement notice

you should make your application to VCAT within 7 days after the date you receive the rectification notice, the direction or the improvement notice unless you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.  

If you have requested a statement of reasons then you should make your application within 7 days after you are given the statement or informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.

All other reviews under this Act

You must make your application within 28 days of the decision being made or, if you requested a statement of reasons, the day you received the statement or were notified the statement would not be given, whichever day is later. 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.

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 free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your 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. The following services may be able to help 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. For more about applying for confidentiality.