Before notice of an amendment to a planning scheme is given, a planning authority must apply to Planning Panels Victoria and agree upon the hearing dates for consideration of submissions.

The following procedure must be followed (unless an exemption is granted by the Minister):

  • Following receipt of authorisation to prepare a planning scheme amendment, the planning authority contacts the Planning Panels Victoria Panel Coordinator to discuss potential hearing dates.
  • At least 25 business days prior to the anticipated start of the public exhibition period, the planning authority, using the online Pre-set Panel Hearing Request Form, forwards the proposed hearing dates to Planning Panels Victoria.
  • The planning authority will receive an automatically generated receipt, advising that the request has been received by Planning Panels Victoria.
  • Within 15 business days after the receipt of the request to pre-set the hearing dates, Planning Panels Victoria will confirm the agreed dates with the planning authority.
  • If there is a proponent involved (other than the planning authority), they must be notified by the planning authority of the agreed pre-set dates.

Using the online Pre-set Panel Hearing Request Form

When using the online request form the planning authority is required to undertake the following steps:

  1. Enter the appropriate information regarding the proposed amendment, contact details and proposed dates in the appropriate fields.

  2. Upload the draft explanatory report. Note that files can only be uploaded in Microsoft Word or PDF format and that multiple files should be sent in a ZIP format.

  3. Submit the on-line form to Planning Panels Victoria.

Pre-set Panel Hearing Request Form

Post exhibition process

Within five business days of the closing date for the receipt of submissions, the planning authority is required to advise the Planning Panels Victoria Panel Coordinator by email (planning.panels@delwp.vic.gov.au) of the number of submissions received, and the likelihood of the matter being referred to a panel.

After the planning authority has decided to refer the submissions to a panel, a formal letter requesting the appointment of a panel is still required. This is due within 40 business days of the closing date for submissions.

A sample letter for this formal request is included in the Guide to Pre-set Hearing Dates (DOCX, 97.7 KB).

After receipt of the formal panel request the Minister, or a delegate, will appoint the panel.

If the pre-set dates cannot be met or the matter does not need to be referred to a panel, the planning authority must advise the Panel Coordinator as soon as possible.

The hearing dates should be within the timeframes outlined in the explanatory report submitted with the pre-set hearing request.

Further information on pre-set panel hearings

This guide outlines the process for pre-setting hearing dates, provides a sample panel appointment request letter, and a detailed outline of the process for pre-setting hearings.

Guide to Pre-set Hearing Dates (DOCX, 97.7 KB).

This direction specifies the times for completing steps in the planning scheme amendment process.

Ministerial Direction 15 (PDF, 23.3 KB)

Guidance on how to pre-set a date for a directions hearing and panel hearing in accordance with Ministerial Direction No. 15 – The Planning Scheme Amendment Process.

Practice Note 77 (PN77) – Pre-setting panel hearing dates (PDF, 353.2 KB)

Practice Note 77 (PN77) (DOC, 63.0 KB)

More information

If you have any questions please contact:

Panel Co-ordinator
c/o Planning Panels Victoria
1 Spring Street
Melbourne 3000

Phone: (03) 8392 5116
Fax: (03) 8392 5110
Email: planning.panels@delwp.vic.gov.au