Clause 1 regularly represents clients at VCAT and, since the introduction of Daily Hearing Fees we have been concerned with the potential for significant and unreasonable additional costs to permit applicants. Daily Hearing Fees are payable for each day (or part thereof) the Tribunal sits in hearing a matter. Generally, the fees vary between approximately $350 – $3400 per day, depending on the type of case and type of applicant.
When hearings are not concluded within their allotted time, additional fees are often incurred. For example; if a 1 day hearing is not completed on the first day and all parties are forced to return for a second day so the matter can be concluded, additional daily hearing fees will be required.
Such delays are often caused by other parties exceeding their allotted time for submissions or other similar delays, that are out of the control of the permit applicant. In such circumstances, it is the Applicant for Review that is traditionally required to pay the additional daily-hearing-fee(s). In extreme examples, where an additional 2-3 days is required, such costs can be significant.
However, the Tribunal does have the discretion to apportion these additional daily hearing fees to other parties. Applicants for Review should ensure they accurately predict the amount of time they need to present their case to VCAT, at the time their appeal is lodged. If additional days are required as a result of the conduct of other parties, applicants should request the additional daily hearing fees be paid, or at least shared, by the perpetrator.
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