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VCAT - "Responsible to no one and answerable to no one..."

Read this letter sent to the principle registrar of VCAT by a resident from Knoxfield:

Dear VCAT,
I won’t be attending this hearing as I have already wasted too many days off work at previous VCAT hearings.

There is no point in putting in a written submission based on my own objections to this development as VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) have publically stated that concerns/objections by members of the public do not count and won’t be taken into consideration.

In every VCAT[1] case that I have been involved in across our local area the developer has always managed to have the council refusal overturned despite council rejecting their applications and many local residents posting valid objections.

The developers legal council are extremely well prepared and no expense is spared in the preparation of their case. They can hire lawyers & barristers to search every loophole and rubbish every legitimate objection by council and members of the public. They regularly submit revised plans at the VCAT hearing, at the last minute, to win favor in their cases (I have seen this on many occasions).

VCAT is not the unbiased umpire that it was originally intended to be. It is now a defacto planning approval body with no real interest or knowledge of the local area where these inappropriate developments will be built.

VCAT is responsible to no one and answerable to no one.

If VCAT were truly unbiased then the majority of rulings would confirm the local councils professional planning assessments. Instead we see the majority of council rejections overturned in favour of the developer despite them not meeting local council approval.

There is a huge public groundswell of resentment across Melbourne at the way developers can use VCAT to circumvent valid local council decisions and completely ignore local residents objections and concerns.

VCAT must be drastically overhauled before residents and councils can have any faith that it is a fair and just umpire in planning review decisions.

ABC news report on council anger at VCAT powers.

[1] [CAT stands for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It is supposed to dispense justice cheaply and democratically for Victorians. But it has become expensive, biased and corrupted to satisfy developers.


The issue of the undemocratic and invasive building of McDonalds fast food outlet in Tecoma is a perfect example of VCAT's corrupt approvals, contrary to the interests of local communities. The people rejected and plans, along with their local MP and the Council. However, VCAT gave the green light, with no regard to the objections.
What's the point of a democratic government when "planning" has become corrupt and streamlined? It's all about the power of big businesses and property developers over the common sense and values of local communities - such as the one in the Dandenong Ranges.
Hundreds of locals met at the Burrinja Centre in nearby Upwey yesterday and pledged to continue to blockade the construction site and up their online campaign by appealing to Victorian politicians on Twitter.
"The Premier needs to get involved. If he was he could negotiate with McDonald's and they could bow out of this gracefully," protest leader Mr Muratore said.
However, the Premier is hiding behind his office, and VCAT. He's failing to provide any leadership and courage.
McDonalds is using a non-union company to do the demolition, but they will use a union company for the construction. So, McDonalds is not built yet!

Talking about VCAT being biased, have you heard what's going on with the owners corporation list?

Believe it or not, the below points are fact.

1. Managers take the interest of the owners money, and pay it to the Victorian Property Fund. From this fund more than a million is paid to VCAT yearly. Owners know nothing of this. (Documented: SCA Annual Report AGM 2014 page 18. VCAT Annual Report 2013/14 page 53).

2. The owners corporation law also allows managers to transfer money from the owners pool to their own private bank account. This means if a manager steals money from the pool, the Police will not act, as by the law it’s perfectly legal (Documented: OC Act, Section 27)

This of course means the managers and give it to VCAT - and it's all legit.

How much do developers pay VCAT???, and who funds the other lists?

Read about the ridiculous VCAT in this article, printed in the the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 Feb 2013:

'Rip off' body corporate managers stay registered

VCAT and its proud members are a 'lawyer joke'.