Liberal Fee Increase Reduced To Ensure Low Cost Justice For Victorians

Attorney-General Martin Pakula has wound back excessive application fee increases for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) introduced by the previous Liberal Government.

The Andrews Labor Government today announced that the latest fee increase for applications to VCAT will be reduced and limited to a maximum of 10 per cent (including costs indexation of 2.7 per cent) from 1 July 2015.

Under the previous Liberal Government’s VCAT regulations, many commonly charged application fees to the low-cost tribunal were scheduled to increase again this year by up to 19 per cent.

This would have followed increases ranging from 43 per cent to 309 per cent between 2012-14 to application fees for the most common matters.

The increase in fees at VCAT has contributed to a substantial drop-off in applications to the Tribunal.

VCAT is in the process of developing a proposal for a new fee regime to commence when the existing fee regulations expire on 30 June 2016. That proposal will be the subject of extensive community consultation.

The Labor Government is committed to ensuring VCAT remains a quick, low cost and user-friendly alternative to the courts, providing all Victorians with access to justice.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“The fee increases scheduled under the previous Liberal Government’s regulations would have made it excessively costly for Victorian’s to access justice.”

“I’m winding back the fee increases and capping them at 10 per cent. We’re making sure VCAT remains a quick, low cost and user-friendly alternative to the courts.”

“Costs have increasingly become a barrier to civil justice in our courts and tribunals. The Government is working to ensure that access to justice for Victorians is not diminished by unnecessary increases to court and tribunal fees.”