If a person or organisation fails to comply with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act), a planning scheme, conditions on a planning permit or an agreement under section 173 of the Act they may be liable for penalties.

You can read general information about the different types of penalties on this page.

Types of planning penalties

There are different types of planning penalties that can be applied depending on the breach that has occurred. These include:

  • an authorised officer can issue a planning infringement notice
  • an enforcement order or interim enforcement order can be sought from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • prosecution may be pursued in the Magistrates' Court.

If a planning infringement notice has been issued, the penalty is five penalty units for an individual and 10 penalty units for a body corporate.

The penalty for non-compliance with an enforcement order or interim enforcement order is set in section 133 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.

The maximum penalty that can apply to prosecution in the Magistrates' Court is 1,200 penalty units Planning infringement notices, enforcement orders, and interim enforcement orders can also require that measures be taken to resolve the issue.

If a responsible authority (usually the local council) prosecutes for an offence under the Act, all penalties for that offence must be paid to the responsible authority.

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

For more information about planning offences and penalties you can refer to:

Details of offences under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 are summarised below.

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. up to 1,200 penalty units
If the contravention or failure is of a continuing nature, a further penalty of up to 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 for a financial year is fixed by the Treasurer under section 5(3) of the Monetary Units Act 2004. The value of one penalty unit is $184.92 for the 2022-23 financial year.

More details and information on the penalty unit amount can be obtained from the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

Page last updated: 31/10/22