Monthly Archives: June 2010

Transforming One VCAT

Originally published as an editorial under a joint by-line with Tim Westcott and Gilda Di Vincenzo in Planning News 36, No. 5 (June 2010).

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is currently engaged in a process of introspection. The outgoing President, Justice Kevin Bell, released his review (titled One VCAT) back in February, and in May the incoming President, Justice Iain Ross, has released his own discussion paper, Transforming VCAT. The release of two documents covering such similar material so close together is at first a little disorienting, particularly for a planning profession accustomed to a more glacial approach to review and reform. Yet it was inevitable that the change of President would result in some reframing of the previous President’s findings: the new President is to be congratulated on moving forward so quickly rather than allowing the process to bog down. The term “discussion paper” might imply that the process has returned to square one, but a comparison of Transforming VCAT with the initial March 2009 “consultation paper” The Role of VCAT in a Changing World makes it clear that the slate hasn’t been wiped clean. While Transforming VCAT is also framed as a call for submissions, it builds upon the earlier work and includes responses to various of the Bell review’s recommendations.

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