In an informative address to a UDIA Monthly Lunch on Friday 13 May 2011 Justice Ross, President of VCAT, tackled the issue of the Major Cases List for planning matters which exceed $5 million in value. As practitioners are aware the Major Cases is not currently operational. His Honour discussed the potential return of the List and two possible funding models.
First, a grant from government to specifically fund the list. The second option is a higher filing fee for matters that wist to enter the list. His Honour explained that a similar model is used by the Supreme Court for cases that wish to enter the Commercial Cases List.
His Honour also confirmed that although Planning and Environment is an important part of VCAT, the reality remains that it is only a relatively small part of the Tribunal’s work. Unfortunately for the industry, although Planning in VCAT gets headlines, the Tribunal faces competing challenges for its limited resources.