The Victorian Government has today announced a new funding arrangement aimed at assisting in getting the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) moving remotely during the Covid-19 crisis.
$5.2 million worth of funding has been announced allowing for upgrades to VCAT so that it can hear planning and other matters remotely. The roll out of upgrades has started and is anticipated to continue over the next 12 weeks.
The upgrade is expected to include technology hardware and digitalisation of paper files in addition to project management software, software programmers and software licences.
As a direct result of the COVID19 crisis, only injunctions and urgent matters have been scheduled to be heard before VCAT since late March, causing significant delays to the development industry.
The investment in VCAT will now allow matters, especially those on the Planning and Environment List to proceed. With these matters able to proceed, businesses and individuals will have certainty on their planning and development matters. These projects help create jobs and will support economic activity during the coronavirus crisis.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy stated that “VCAT delivers critical services that Victorians rely on – this is about ensuring vital projects can continue during coronavirus – helping to create jobs and economic activity. We’re giving VCAT the resources and the ability to continue their vital work remotely – delivering access to justice for all Victorians while we respond to the challenges of physical distancing during coronavirus.”
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne also indicated that “This funding will prevent building projects from becoming held up in the system at a time when we need them most. The taskforce will help deliver important projects more efficiently, support jobs and assisting new projects to get off the ground faster.”
EDQ Town Planning continues to operate throughout the current COVID-19 climate and encourage anyone looking to undertake a development of any sort to contact us to discuss your requirements.