New guardianship and administration laws start soon

Posted on 10 Feb 2020

On 1 March 2020, new laws change how VCAT appoints guardians and administrators for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Under the new Guardianship and Administration Act 2019, VCAT will be able to:

  • appoint a supportive guardianDefinitionA person who makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of someone with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. for personal matters or supportive administrator for financial matters, recognising that the person may be able to make some types of decisions themselves with the right support
  • continue to appoint a guardian or administrator, if there is no less restrictive option.

VCAT must take into account:

  • the will and preferences of the represented person (what’s important to them)
  • whether the decisions could be made in a less formal way, or by an approach like negotiation or mediationDefinitionMediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator.
  • the wishes of any primary carer, relative or other person with a direct interest in the application 
  • relationships that are important to the person.

The person who may have an order made about them is expected to take part in the VCAT hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. , unless they don’t want to or it’s impractical or unreasonable for them to do so.

No action is needed by current guardians or administrators. Any requirements under the new law will be considered at the time the order is reassessed. 

Anyone with a draft guardianship or administration application in VCAT’s Guardianship Hub must submit it before 11.59pm on Sunday 1 March, or start a fresh application.

If you have any questions on how the new Act applies to VCAT, email humanrights@vcat.vic.gov.au.