VCAT originally dismissed Ms Goode’s discrimination claims in 2013, but did not consider her Charter arguments. She successfully appealed to the Supreme Court on this point and the matter was remitted back to VCAT to be heard and decided again. VCAT found that Common Equity, when exercising the function of providing affordable social or community housing for low income tenants, and when regulated under the Housing Act as to the exercise of this function, is a public authority under the Charter. The functions exercised are of a public nature and the service provided is the provision of social housing (described as a function of government of fundamental importance). 

VCAT was ‘satisfied that the function performed by Common Equity of providing affordable housing to low income tenants is sufficiently connected to functions of government’. Further, that Common Equity is publicly funded to perform these functions and is exercising those functions on behalf of the State. However, VCAT did not consider it open to find that there had been a failure on the part of Common Equity to turn their minds to the possible impacts of administrative matters on G’s human rights. A case summary can be found under the 'Resources' tab.

Thursday, January 21, 2016