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Fast track mediation and hearing

For resolving goods and services disputes up to $15,000

To help you resolve your goods and services dispute as quickly as possible, VCAT and the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria provide a fast track service.

If the amount in dispute is between $500 and $15,000, you may be invited to attend a mediationDefinitionMediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. . This is an opportunity to resolve your dispute by talking through the issues with the other people involved, assisted by a mediator.

If you cannot resolve your dispute at mediation, you go to a hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. within a few hours. At the hearing, a VCAT memberDefinitionA person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. makes a decision about the case. You do not have to pay hearing fees for this same-day service.

We will contact you if we think your dispute is suitable for fast track mediation and hearing.

How it works

A mediator contacts you

If we think your dispute is suitable, a mediator contacts you to discuss the process, within seven days of our letter acknowledging your case. After this, we set a time and place for you and the other people involved to come to VCAT.

How long it takes

The mediation takes up to 90 minutes but allow five hours on the day in case your dispute goes to a hearing. If you cannot resolve the dispute at the mediation, the hearing will usually be held at the same place, within a few hours.

At the mediation

The mediator helps you talk with the other people involved, to see if you can resolve some or all of the issues. They confirm the outcome of the mediation with VCAT. Find out what happens at a mediation and how to prepare.

If your dispute goes to a hearing

A VCAT member listens to submissions and evidence, and makes a decision either at the end of the hearing or in writing afterwards. Learn how to prepare for your hearing.

Who can come with you

You can bring someone for support, such as a family member or friend, but they cannot usually speak on your behalf. The mediator decides on the day who is present in the mediation room and how they take part.

If your case goes to a hearing, the VCAT member has final say on who takes part in the hearing.

VCAT does not usually allow a lawyer or other professional representative if the amount in dispute is less than $15,000. You can ask our permission, but be prepared to present your own case. Find out more about professional representation at VCAT.

Accessibility and support services

Tell us if you need support to attend, such as interpreters, security, family violence support, hearing and speech assistance, audiovisual equipment, wheelchair access and other accessibility assistance. See our customer support options.


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