Read more about how hearings work.
Attending the hearing
You do not have to attend the entire hearing. You can attend at any time to observe the proceedings and may access documents presented at the hearing.
If you are a party, the panel will ask you to be present at least 15 minutes before your scheduled commencement time.
After the hearing
The panel will review all the submissions and information presented at the hearing and prepare its report.
The panel report:
- documents issues raised in submissions which responded to the amendment’s public exhibition
- considers all submissions and information received to independently determine its findings
- generally recommends changes to the amendment in response to its findings.
The panel report will be forwarded to the planning authority when completed and must be released to the public after 10 business days. The planning authority may release the report earlier if it chooses.
The panel report provides advice and recommendations. The planning authority and the minister are not bound by the panel’s recommendations.
If the council does not adopt a panel recommendation, it must give reasons as to why.
Once available to the public, the panel report is uploaded to Australasian Legal Information Institute and Planning Scheme Amendments where it remains permanently available.
If a planning authority does not make a decision
If the planning authority has not adopted the amendment or been granted an extension of time by the minister, the amendment will lapse two years after the public notice date published in the Government Gazette.
The planning authority meets the panel's fees. The fees are prescribed by us and relate to the full panel process including the hearing, site visits and report writing.
Submitters do not pay a fee to be heard by the panel or for the submission to be considered.
The award of costs against a party is rare in panel proceedings.
Costs when a hearing is adjourned
Section 165 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provides for the adjournment of hearings as follows:
"A Panel may from time to time adjourn a Hearing to any times and places and for any purposes it thinks necessary and on any terms as to costs or otherwise which it thinks just in the circumstances."
The need for an adjournment may arise during the hearing for a variety of reasons. It may occur if a significant change is proposed to an amendment, or a proposal or significant new evidence is introduced, and the involved parties have not been previously informed.
If an adjournment is necessary, the panel may consider if costs should be awarded. Costs are usually only awarded to a party if the costs claimed would not otherwise have been incurred and they are the direct result of another party's actions.
If costs are requested or the panel itself considers an award of costs is appropriate, parties determined by the panel will be given an opportunity to be heard before any direction is made.