As part of the transition of VCAT’s administration to Court Services Victoria, the government conducted a review of its fee structure to ensure its resources were allocated as effectively as possible, taking into account the applicant’s capacity to pay. The result is a new system providing for Concession, Standard and Corporate fee rates.
Holders of a federal Health Care Card will be eligible for Concession status, with no application fee for residential tenancy disputes, or for goods and services claims worth up to $15 000. They will also benefit from a cap of $150 on any fee they are required to pay. The option of applying for a fee waiver in exceptional circumstances will remain.
A new Corporate rate has also been established, which applies to government agencies and companies with a turnover in excess of $200 000 per year. The Victorian government highlighted that ‘the corporate fee to challenge the refusal of a planning permit for a development with a value of between $15 million and $50 million will increase from $2086 to $2328, while the concession fee to challenge the grant of such a permit will now be $150’.
The Standard rate is fixed at 70 per cent of the Corporate rate. For most residential tenancy matters, the Standard fee is $61.50, and there is no fee for bond disputes.
The new fee structure also includes a sliding scale based on the value of the claim; for goods and services, the Standard fee ranges from $61.50 for a claim under $3000, to $1571 for a claim over $5 million.
ROBERT CORR is a Legal Studies teacher at the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School.