SSSI LSC News - April 2020

March 31, 2020



A national project is underway to review the vocational education and training (VET) qualifications and associated units of competency in Surveying and Spatial Information Services. These VET qualifications play an important role in developing the skills and knowledge required to enter the industry and provide pathways to higher education programs for those who want to become licenced and registered surveyors or spatial information specialists.

To find out more visit Surveying and Spatial project page

The initial recommendations were to remove Cert II and III in Surveying and Spatial Information Services along with the Advanced Diploma of Surveying. However, in response to industry feedback provided at a webinar/meeting held on Friday 3 April 2020, the Certificates II and III in Surveying and Spatial Information Services and the Advanced Diploma of Surveying are no longer proposed for deletion.

To ensure that the qualifications meet the anticipated needs of industry we encourage you to request feedback through online questionnaire (open until 8 May 2020).

You can also provide feedback by email to Imagen Craig by 28 April to be collated in the SSSI national submission.


At a recent presentation run by the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association, a number of notable reforms to VCAT were highlighted. These include:-

  • Updating and simplifying Tribunal orders to offer a more concise and targeted format.
  • An expansion of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) processes to introduce mandatory compulsory conference for all Objector appeals. This will increase the proportion of new planning appeals undergoing ADR from 21% to 40% unlocking Members’ time for merit hearings. 
  • A specialist registry, by a small team of experts to provide timely triage of new matters when lodged at the Tribunal.
  • No practice day hearings for cases listed as ‘Major’; the onus is on Applicants to ensure compliance with proceedings / documentation.
  • VCAT hearings to be expanded to suburbs in metropolitan Melbourne (e.g. Oakleigh, Frankston etc.).
  • Formalising 5 sub-lists under the Planning and Environment List:
    - Planning;
    - Land and Valuation and Local Government;
    - Environment and Resources;
    - Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Heritage;
    - Others (as needed).
  • A ‘revamped’ Short Cases List (SCL) which will include any appeals for single dwellings or up to 4 dwellings with up to 3 parties.

The benefits extend beyond shorter listing times with greater emphasis on the spot oral decisions, or at the very least, concise written decisions within 2 weeks. These will have numerous flow-on effects and should assist in clearing up the overall back-log of appeals. The target is to have 15% of SCL cases heard under the Planning and Environment Act, which equates to approximately 500 per year.

These changes are an effort to streamline the appeals process without prejudicing natural justice and the integrity of VCAT.

A further update concerning Tribunal matters:

The Tribunal has extended the date for non-critical adjourned matters to 15 May 2020 which means that all matters that had been listed up to 15 May will be adjourned to a date to be fixed. The Tribunal will be sending orders to parties to advise them concerning next steps for those matters-that might include a request for the parties to advise whether the matter is suitable to be dealt with on the papers, or other arrangements. 

VCAT is working hard to hear more cases via phone and other technologies and will contact all parties about their matter, including if a case can be heard earlier. VCAT venues are closed to the public including VCAT, Magistrates' Court counters and no face-to-face hearings are being scheduled. Hearings from hospital beds have been suspended and will be conducted by teleconference. VCAT appreciates the uncertainty this decision will cause a lot of stakeholders. They are still accepting all relevant matters and will contact you to discuss potential hearing dates. Visit the VCAT website for further information.


The following planning scheme amendments may be of interest:

Victorian Planning Provisions - Amendment VC177 was Gazetted on 11th March, 2020

Amends the VPP and all planning schemes in Victoria by inserting a new particular provision at Clause 52.07 to facilitate and support recovery from bushfire and create planning exemptions to facilitate and support immediate recovery actions for communities impacted by the 2019-2020 Victorian bushfires and future bushfires. Clause 52.07 exempts the temporary use and development of land for bushfire recovery (including temporary accommodation and continuation of business and services) from planning requirements. The provisions of this clause prevail over any inconsistent provisions in the planning scheme. This removes doubt about whether a permit is required for use and development for bushfire recovery and will support communities affected by the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires and all future bushfires to recover quickly through clear and streamlined planning provisions.

Colac-Otway Planning Scheme - Amendment C102, Approved 27th March, 2020-Amends Public Open Space Provisions

The Amendment amends the wording of the Schedule to Clause 53.01 of the Colac Otway Planning Scheme to allow for the collection of public open space contributions for subdivisions of three lots or more to align with the Colac Otway Public Open Space Strategy (2011).

This corrects a discrepancy in the Colac Otway Public Open Space Strategy (2011), which sought to apply a minimum 5% public open space contribution for subdivisions of three lots or more, and where the number of lots exceeds five, an additional contribution of 1% per lot up to 10%. The current Schedule to Clause 53.01 does not reflect this direction, stating that a subdivision creating three to five additional lots must contribute 5%. This had the effect of not requiring a three lot subdivision to contribute to the open space system.  

Manningham Planning Scheme – Amendment C109 Approved in part 20th March, 2020.

The Amendment applies to land within five local catchments in the City of Manningham which have been identified by Melbourne Water and Council as being liable to inundation in a 1 in 100 year storm event.  The amendment proposes to replace the existing SBO Schedule at Clause 44.05 with three new schedules to the SBO. The schedules are referred to as SBO1, SBO2 and SBO3.

Schedule 1 to the Special Building Overlay (SBO1) covers the Melbourne Water drainage system and nominates Melbourne Water as the Determining Referral Authority. All applications for development in this overlay are referred to Melbourne Water to assess and provide the appropriate permit conditions and floor levels.

Schedule 2 to the Special Building Overlay (SBO2) covers the local drainage system and Council is the responsible authority for drainage. Council assesses all applications for development in this overlay and provides appropriate permit conditions and floor levels.

Schedule 3 to the Special Building Overlay (SBO3) is similar to SBO2, except that a planning permit will be required in fewer circumstances – such as when a building or extension is constructed with a floor level below an identified level. All applications for development in this overlay (not exempted from needing a permit) are referred to Council to assess and provide the appropriate permit conditions and floor levels.

New Local Government Act 2020

Passed on 17th Mar 2020, the new Local Government Act 2020 introduces wide-ranging reforms to improve democracy, accountability and service delivery across Victoria’s 79 councils according to the Government.

The Bill provides for a contemporary legislative framework for local government in Victoria. Coverage of the Bill includes—

  • the structure and constitution of a Council, the election of Councillors and the appointment of Council administration;
  • the role of a Council and the principles and other matters that describe the manner in which a Council must perform that role;
  • integrated strategic planning and financial management; and
  • the standards of conduct expected of Councillors and Council officials to support required standards of integrity and oversight and enforcement mechanisms to give effect to these standards. 

The commencement clause provides for the introduction of the Bill in 4 stages. 6th April, 1st May, 24th October and the final stage 1st July, 2021. During these 4 stages, the new Act will co-exist with a large number of the provisions in the old Act until 1 July 2021.

The first phase of the reforms will introduce mandatory training for candidates intending to stand at the October local government elections. Other reforms that will be introduced in the first phase include measures to improve community engagement, public transparency, strategic planning, financial management.

Integrating environment protection reforms in response to the new environment protection act 2017

Consultation on draft changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions and Ministerial Direction No 1 begins on Friday 3 April 2020. You are invited to view draft documents and make a submission by Tuesday 5 May 2020 on Engage Victoria The documents include an amended State policy for contaminated land, Environmental Audit Overlay and Ministerial Direction Potentially Contaminated Land.


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