Traditional owners and Aboriginal heritage
If you represent a traditional owner group and believe there is activity that is – or will be – in breach of a land use agreement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010, you can apply to VCAT.
If you are instead seeking other enforcement orders or interim enforcement orders involving the use of land, find out how to apply for an enforcement order under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
What can VCAT do?
You can apply to VCAT about a matter under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 to make one or more of the following enforcement orders:
- stop the land use activity within a specific period
- not start the land use activity
- cancel or suspend the land use activity
- restore the land as much as practicable to the condition it was in before the land use activity started
- do something that ensures the Act is followed.
Applying about an urgent matter
If you urgently want to prevent serious or irreversible damage to the land or the interests of the traditional owner group, you can also apply to VCAT to make interim enforcement orders.
An interim enforcement order usually stays in effect until VCAT decides on the case, sometimes it stays in effect once a date has passed or an event has occurred. VCAT can cancel or amend an interim enforcement order at any time.
VCAT may make an interim enforcement order before making a decision about a final enforcement order. An interim enforcement order can direct the person against whom the order is made to do one or more of the following:
- to stop the land use activity immediately or within a specific period
- not to start the land use activity
- to suspend the land use activity
- to do something else that ensures the Act is followed.
You can apply for enforcement orders and interim enforcement orders using the same application form. You cannot apply for interim enforcement orders without also applying for enforcement orders.
If you are applying to VCAT to issue an interim enforcement order, you must provide sworn evidence as part of your application. Complete an affidavit that states your claims and sign it in front of an authorised witness
Provide a copy of your application to others
After lodging your application with VCAT, you must send a copy of your application to:
- the people responsible for the land use activity
- the people who made the decision to conduct the land use activity
- the body responsible for managing the land
- any other person VCAT instructs you to notify.
You can provide a copy by post, by hand, email or other electronic means. You need to tell VCAT in writing when and how you provided a copy to others.
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 would like to be represented, find out more about who can represent 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.