Decision Expected by the end of November

The Panel acknowledged the strong community presence across the full 10 days of the completed hearing.

We are not expecting for a decision to be handed down before the end of October.

A Massive Thank-You to all who attended.


Our Resident presentations all went VERY weLL

Submissions were presented to the panel on Parking, Traffic, Planning, Heritage, Amenity, Neighbourhood Character, Net Community Benefit and Urban Design.

VCAT Information

The case is scheduled to take up to 10 days - it may take longer - but finishing Friday is still the most likely option.

VCAT hearings are public, anyone may attend. It is a legal process so there are strict rules about who can talk and when.

The below is mostly taken from the the Tenant's Tribunal's Guide to VCAT, there have been some additions.

VCAT Location is 55 King Street (near cnr Flinders Lane)

Suggested Tram is #11 Victoria Harbour (Collins St) Tram - get off at Spencer Street then walk 5mins to VCAT

VCAT Hearing Hours

10am to 4pm Lunch can vary a bit but is usually roughly 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Link to VCAT Website

VCAT security

VCAT handles sensitive and contentious matters and therefore has security similar to a domestic airport checkin. No sharp or glass objects right down to fingernail scissors. Everything must pass through an X-ray scanner and yourself through a metal detector.

Tribunal rules and etiquette

While the Tribunal is less formal than a court, there are some rules to be followed. Firstly, make sure your mobile phone is turned off / set to silent before you enter the hearing room. Electronic devices such as laptops, phones and tablets are permitted but must be silent. Note that VCAT has no public wifi (this is under review so may change), so if you need Internet a personal hotspot will be required. No electronic recording or photography of hearings is permitted, and nor is any live blogging of proceedings such as via Facebook or Twitter.

The Member

The person who hears a case at the Tribunal is called a ‘Member’. The Member is usually a judge or an experienced legal practitioner. Members don’t wear wigs or gowns or use gavels but you are still expected to show them respect at all times. You should stand up when the Member enters or leaves the room. Address the Member as Sir, Madam or Member. If you want to hand the Member a document or other item, you must first ask for permission to approach them or the bench. Never interrupt or talk over the Member and always speak respectfully during the hearing.

.. and not from the tenants tribunal guide to VCAT ..

Bare Necessities of life - food, drink and especially coffee

VCAT is a near desert from this perspective. You should be able to find a water dispenser in the corridor and it may even have water. Otherwise there are no comestibles within VCAT. There is a more-than-tolerable food-court accessible via a laneway which runs down the northern edge of 55 King Street. Proceed along, down and then up some stairs and you're there.

You may find yourself alongside Gurner's team as it's the obvious place to go - so be aware of that. Perhaps even rubbing shoulders with the great man himself though I've not checked on coconut water availability.

VCAT Hearing Commences September 4th to 15th

If you have put in a Statement of Grounds to VCAT, and paid your $19.50, you are entitled to appear and speak at VCAT. You are not obligated to appear and speak, but you can.

You are welcome to nominate the PFN planning barrister as your representative. Email

If you do wish to personally present at the VCAT hearing, then you should not nominate the PFN barrister as representing you, as you will not be allowed to speak. If you nominate a lawyer to speak for you - they do the talking.

VCAT Reference Numbers

P2079/2016 (for the larger site)

P147/2017 (for the smaller site at the rear of 26-56 Queens Parade)

Final Hearing Now Scheduled for 4th September for 10 days up from 7 days.

Our case is being run as a community effort. We have engaged a planning barrister, Ian Munt, to prepare and present our case for VCAT. Daniel Epstein, our previous barrister, is on his honeymoon in the US :-).

Ian is also working with our community groups in a collaborative manner, using local resident talent, knowledge and passion, supplemented with select expert witnesses, to prepare and present VCAT.

He is our Captain-Coach. There are a number of "Think Tanks", each preparing under Ian's direction, part of our case, covering an area in dispute with the developer.

The areas under dispute include : heritage, planning, urban design, neighbourhood character, amenity (noise, light, sound, overlooking, overshadowing), landscaping, environmental impact, waste management, parking, and traffic

The response from our community has be outstanding and humbling - each Think Tank has a full crew.