New leader announced for Planning and Environment list at VCAT

A new Planning and Environment leader will be appointed at VCAT following the planned retirement of the current leader. Senior Member Teresa Biscussi will lead the tribunal’s Planning and Environment list from July 1st 2019 after being appointed by VCAT President Justice Quigle.

Teresa Biscussi will take over the role from Deputy President Helen Gibson who is retiring at the end of June this year. Teresa joined VCAT as a Senior Member in 2018 previously working as a Principal for a legal firm in Melbourne. Her legal career has focused on planning law and encompassed regular appearances at VCAT, Planning Panels Victoria, Heritage Council, Magistrates’ Court, and the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

VCAT described Teresa as an ‘experienced and highly skilled professional with a longstanding commitment to community service’ and that her ‘wide experience will stand her in good stead in this important role.’

VCAT thanked Deputy President Helen Gibson for her time as leader and said: “We celebrate the enormous contribution of Deputy President Gibson, who has led the Planning and Environment List from 2004 to present.”

Before becoming the leader of Planning and Environment Helen Gibson was the inaugural Chief Panel Member of Planning Panels Victoria from 1996 up until 2014 when she took the leadership role at VCAT. She participated on many planning reviews and advisory committees, including as an Expert Group Member on the Review of the State Planning Policy Framework from 2008 to 2010. In 2016, Helen was named a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to planning and environment law in Victoria, and as a role model for women in the profession.

VCAT lists, cases & planning permit decisions

VCAT is made of a President, Vice Presidents, Deputy Vice Presidents, Senior Members and Members. VCAT members are appointed to oversee VCAT listings and hear and decide cases. VCAT has different lists each dealing with cases of a similar nature. All Planning and Environment list members have expert planning knowledge and usually come from planning backgrounds. Planning appeals are heard by a VCAT member who will decide the case after hearing from both parties.

A full list of VCAT member can be found here.

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