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VCAT president goes bush

Briefs

Cite as: (2004) 78(7) LIJ, p. 18

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) president Justice Stuart Morris has visited Bendigo to highlight the importance of courts and tribunals sitting in regional areas.

Justice Morris said it was important that VCAT conducted as many hearings as possible in locations convenient to the parties.

Since 1 July 2003, VCAT has heard more than 1300 cases in Bendigo.

“After all, we are a Victorian tribunal, not just a Melbourne tribunal,” he said.

During his three-day visit on 18-20 May, Justice Morris heard a planning appeal at the Bendigo Courts Complex concerning a gravel extraction pit in Heywood Street, Bendigo.

He also used the visit to gather feedback for use in the development of VCAT policies for the region.

Bendigo Law Association president Andrew Pickles said Justice Morris had made it clear to regional practitioners that VCAT was for all of Victoria, not just Melbourne.

Mr Pickles said that especially in relation to planning matters which can be contentious, the fact that VCAT was hearing cases in Bendigo was something appreciated by practitioners.

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