Application for a declaration

VCAT has the power to make declarations in specific circumstances, under a number of planning and environment enactments. A declaration can determine the meaning or effect of a legally enforceable provision such as a requirement of a planning scheme. A declaration can also decide the validity of a decision made by the decision-making authority.

Some of the more common statutory provisions enabling an application for declaration to be made are:

In some cases declarations can only be made by a presidential member Definition A presidential member is either the president, a vice president or deputy president at VCAT. Some types of cases can only be heard or dealt with by a VCAT presidential member. of VCAT. In other cases declarations can only be made by either a presidential member or another member Definition A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. who is a lawyer.

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 Definition A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. 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.

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 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.