Building Act 1993 (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 Victorian Building Authority (VBA) under the Building Act 1993.

Cases we can hear

We can review decisions by the VBA about the licensing and registration of building practitioners and plumbers and associated matters, including decisions to:

  • refuse to grant or renew a licence or registration
  • take any form of disciplinary action (eg. issuing a reprimand, imposing a penalty, or suspending or cancelling a licence or registration)
  • immediately suspend registration
  • of a building practitioner
  • impose conditions on a licence or registration (other than prescribed conditions)
  • direct or make a recommendation to a building surveyor
  • make declarations about any provision of, or modification to, the plumbing regulations.

We can also review a decision of the VBA (or failure to make a decision) about an owner-builder certificate of consent in relation to domestic building work.

VCAT's Building and Property List can review certain decisions by the Victorian Building Authority about building permits, plumbing rectification notices, plumbing orders and managerial appointments for a private building surveyor's business.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Sections 25J, 186 and 221ZZZP of the Building Act 1993

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

Time limit may apply depending on the decision to be reviewed. VCAT has power to extend the time limits below.

Decisions affecting plumbers

For a review of VBA's declaration about any provision of the plumbing regulations, you must apply within 5 business days of receiving the declaration.

For all other reviews of VBA decisions about a plumber, there are no time limits.

Decisions affecting other building practitioners

For a review of a VBA decision about any other building practitioner, you must apply:

  • within 14 days if you originally applied for an internal VBA review
  • within 28 days if you were ineligible for an internal VBA review.

Decisions about owner-builder certificates of consent

No time limits apply to these decisions.

What can VCAT order?

VCAT can:

  • affirm the decision under review, in which case that decision will stand
  • vary or amend the decision
  • substitute our own decision.

For decisions about plumbers and owner-builder certificates of consent, VCAT may also set aside the decision under review and remit the matter to the VBA to reconsider.

Putting the decision under review on hold

Except for a decision to immediately suspend the registration of a building practitioner, lodgement of an application for review of a decision affecting a building practitioner will put that decision on hold until VCAT has made its decision.

For immediate suspensions, decisions affecting plumbers and all other decisions we can review, you must apply for a stay order if you want the decision put on hold, by indicating this on the application form. 

You should ask the VBA if they agree to the stay. If the VBA does not agree, VCAT will hold a preliminary hearing to consider the stay application.

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 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.

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.