Planning penalties

Where a person has breached or failed to comply with the Planning and Environment Act 1987, or a planning permit, planning schemes or section 173 agreement, they may have committed an offence and be liable for certain penalties.

Types of penalties

Depending on the nature of the offence:

  • a planning infringement notice can be issued by an authorised officer
  • an enforcement order or interim enforcement order can be applied for from VCAT
  • prosecution may be pursued in the Magistrates' Court

Where a planning infringement notice has been issued, the penalty is five penalty units for a natural person (an individual) and 10 penalty units for a body corporate.

The maximum penalty that can apply to prosecution in the magistrate's court is 1,200 penalty units.

The penalty for a contravention of an enforcement order or interim enforcement order is set under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.

If a responsible authority prosecutes for an offence under the Planning & Environment Act 1987 all penalties recovered in respect to that offence must be paid to the responsible authority.

Both a planning infringement notice and an enforcement order, or interim enforcement order, can also require that measures be taken to resolve the situation.

To achieve a satisfactory outcome to any prosecution or application to the Magistrates' Court or VCAT, responsible authorities must ensure that all documentation it provides is of a high standard.

Section Provision/Offence Penalty
46AZF Releasing confidential information by a person who has been a member of, Chief Executive Officer or employed by the Growth Areas Authority. 100 penalty units
48 Providing misleading information on an application. 60 penalty units
 127 Person guilty of an offence for which no penalty has been expressly provided for under the Act.

1,200 penalty units

If the contravention or failure is of a continuing nature, a further penalty of 60 penalty units for each day that it continues.

 130 Where an infringement notice has been issued for contravening a scheme, permit or section 173 agreement.

Five penalty units in the case of a natural person.

10 penalty units in the case of a body corporate.

137 Without lawful excuse obstructing an authorised officer or member of the police force. 60 penalty units
169 Person who insults, assaults or obstructs a member of a panel, or misbehaves at a hearing; repeatedly interrupts a hearing or disobeys a direction of a panel. 60 penalty units

The value of a penalty unit is set each year in accordance with section 6 of the Monetary Units Act 2004. The amount can be obtained from the website of the Department of Treasury and Finance. For the financial year 2016-17, the value of one penalty unit is $155.46.

Where to obtain a copy of the Act

A hard copy of the Act may be purchased from SAI Global Bookshop, Unit 3, 18 Salmon Street, Port Melbourne, telephone 131 242,

A copy is also available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

Page last reviewed on 4 July 2016

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