In 2012, Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) exemptions were introduced for government and non-government schools by making two GAIC events excluded events:
- A subdivision of land carried out solely to provide land for an established or proposed school (s201RF(ba) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (PEA)).
- An application for a building permit for building works relating to an established or proposed school, including purposes ancillary to a school (s201RG(1)(ca) of the PEA).
The exemptions are available only for primary and secondary schools.
A liability to pay GAIC in respect of a subdivision of land or building permit application arises at the date of issue of the statement of compliance or the making of an application for a building permit. At this time, the applicant must satisfy us that the:
- application has been made by an established or proposed school, and
- subdivision has been carried out solely to provide land for the established or proposed school, or
- building works are ancillary to the school.
If we are satisfied, we will issue a certificate of no GAIC liability for an excluded event under ss201RF(ba) or 201RG(1)(ca) of the PEA.
Sole purpose requirement
To qualify for the exemption under s201RF(ba), a subdivision of land must be carried out solely to provide land for an established or proposed school and for no other purpose.
If a subdivision results in land or lots of land being created for another purpose, that subdivision may still meet the sole purpose test if the creation of the non-school lot(s) is necessary for the subdivision to be approved.
A subdivision of land is carried out to create two lots of land, one for a proposed school and another lot for the balance of the land, which contains a carriageway easement linking the school lot to an external roadway.
The sole purpose test is satisfied if the creation of the carriageway easement is necessary for the subdivision to be approved and carried out.
A subdivision of land creates three lots of land, one for an established school, one for a residential lot and one lot for the balance of the land, which contains the carriageway easement for the school.
It will not satisfy the sole purpose test and will not qualify as an excluded event under s201RF(ba) of the PEA.
Schools for GAIC purposes
A school is defined under s201R of the PEA to have the same meaning as in s1.1.3 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (ETRA). It is a place at or from which education is provided to children of compulsory school age during normal school hours but does not include:
- a place from which a home schooling registered under the ETRA takes place,
- TAFE institute,
- education service exempted by Ministerial Order, or
- regulated exempt body such as an adult education institution.
Compulsory school age means the age between six and 17.
Registered schools for GAIC purposes
The ETRA requires all Victorian schools to be registered before they start operating. We recognise a school for GAIC purposes if it is registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority as one or more of the following:
- primary school,
- secondary school,
- co-educational school,
- single-sex school,
- specific-purpose school such as that which provides an alternative educational program, or
- specialist school, a school catering mainly for students with disabilities or social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.
Evidence to support a school exemption
Before we can issue a No GAIC Liability Certificate there are a number of documents we require.
These documents depend on the type of school and whether GAIC land is owned by an established or proposed school, or by another landowner such as a developer or school provider.
When applying for a No GAIC Liability Certificate, you are required to state an estimated commencement date for the school in your application and provide us with a copy of the registration certificate as soon as practical.
If the school is not registered by the date stated in the application, you must contact us and let us know a new estimated commencement date.
Building works ancillary to an established or proposed school are works that are dependent upon, directly connected to and reliant upon the building of an established or proposed school, including:
- Out-of-school hours care facilities.
- Outdoor sporting facilities with limited public use.
- Childcare, kindergarten or preschool facilities operated by the school or proposed school and used by staff or families with children enrolled at the school.
Building works that are not dependent on, or are subservient to, an established or proposed school do not qualify as ancillary works, for example:
- Theatres, places of worship or function centres with significant public use.
- Indoor and outdoor recreation facilities with significant public use.
- Private childcare centres separately registered and not directly connected with a school.
Given the varied nature of building works, applications are decided on a case-by-case basis considering factors including:
- The area set aside for the ancillary use in comparison with the area set aside for school use.
- Whether the buildings for the ancillary use will appear to be integrated with school buildings.
- Whether there is any restriction on access between the school or proposed school and the ancillary use.
- Whether the ancillary use and school or proposed school share access points and car parking.
- The number of users of the ancillary use in comparison with the number of school users.
- Whether the operating time of the ancillary use is consistent with the normal operating school hours.