3. Preparing for the hearing

Attend the hearing

If you want your objection to count you will need to attend the hearing. If you need to, arrange time off work and/or care for your children.

If you can’t attend the hearing please tell the hearings advisor, and nominate someone (another objector perhaps) to represent your objection.

Consider asking witnesses to present

Try to meet with other objectors or at least discuss the upcoming hearing with them. Identify any gaps, inconsistencies and how these might be addressed.

Arrange any witnesses and/or support people you might need. Think about noise specialists, etc.

If you are appearing on behalf of a group make sure everyone knows about the hearing, and allocate them a role if appropriate.

Prepare a short summary of your key points and practice it. Summarise any further evidence that you have gathered since submitting your objection.

Prepare to be cross-examined

You might be cross-examined so put yourself in the shoes of the applicant and think about any possible questions that they may wish to ask or challenge you on. Prepare some possible responses to these.

You may also have the opportunity to cross examine the applicant.  If the regulatory agencies (council inspectors, health, police) are opposing and presenting evidence, you may have the opportunity to cross examine them too.  Think about what questions you would like to ask them and write them down.

Please note that from May 2024, community members will no longer be allowed to be cross-examined by other parties (for example, industry legal representation).

You might consider getting legal support.  While there is usually a cost for this you might be able to get assistance.

You may consider contacting Community Law, or finding out if there are other community groups in your area with access to legal resources.

If you are approached by or informing the media regarding the objection/hearing extra care is needed as this is a legal process. For more information and advice, click here.