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Considering submissions

A panel, advisory committee or environment effects inquiry:

  • considers all written submissions referred to it
  • gives anyone who made a submission an opportunity to present their key points at a public hearing.

You can make your submission at a public hearing in person, or you may be represented by another person. Your submission may be oral or partly oral and written. You can also call expert witnesses to give evidence to the panel.

To present your submission at the hearing, make a request to be heard. For information about how to present your submission at the hearing, see our guide to how public hearings work.

If you do not appear at the hearing, your written submission will be considered by the panel, unless you advise us and the planning authority that you want to withdraw your submission.

If you ask to be kept informed of the panel's process, but not appear, you may be provided with copies of some material prepared by other parties such as the proponent and planning authority, but not all the material the panel will receive.

If you have not made a written submission to the planning authority, you cannot not be heard.

The panel is not obliged to hear them, although it may choose to do so by exercising its power under section 161(1)(d) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to inform itself on any matter in any way it thinks fit.

It should not be assumed the panel will decide to exercise that discretion.

Generally, you can not make a submission or give new information after the hearing. You need to make sure you have covered everything that you want to present within your allotted time.

An exception will be made only where the panel has specifically given directions for submissions or information to be sent after the hearing.

Inspecting submissions

Contact the planning authority to inspect submissions on a planning scheme amendment.

Contact us to inspect submissions on an EES, a matter being considered by an advisory committee, a permit call-in or an appeal call-in.

For privacy reasons, we do not publish submissions online unless required to do so by terms of reference.

Late requests to be heard

The panel has discretion about whether to hear a person who has not completed a request to be heard.

If you have made a written submission, the panel will need to consider the structure of its timetable, the length of time involved, the number of people wishing to be heard, the reasons for not responding earlier and whether it is fair to the other parties involved.

Withdrawing a submission

If you decide to withdraw your submission, advise the planning authority and the panel coordinator in writing as soon as possible.

Privacy and your submission

All submissions received and all information provided at the hearing will be treated as public documents.

Submissions are used at the hearing by the panel to inform itself when making its recommendations to the planning authority or Minister for Planning.

As part of the hearing process and in accordance with natural justice principles, proponents and other parties may be provided with a copy of submissions so they can respond to them.

Read more about privacy.

Has a decision been made?

If the Minister for Planning has decided to approve the amendment, notice will be published in the Government Gazette.

Subscribe to Planning Matters to receive updates about planning scheme amendments.

The planning authority must give notice to the minister’s satisfaction such as a newspaper notice or a personal notice to the submitters.

Page last updated: 01/07/24