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Expertise

Gerard Timbs is a Partner in the firm’s Planning, Environment & Sustainability group where he specialises in planning, environment and sustainability law including major projects, mixed use, master-planned and multi-unit residential projects, renewable energy (solar farms), agricultural and tourism developments and local, state and federal government work.

Gerard’s clients include developers, applicants, land owners, third party stake holders and Local and State Government authorities.

Gerard has been listed in the Best Lawyers in Australia 2014 to 2021 edition for Land Use and Zoning Law and Planning and Environmental Law. He is also recognised in the 2017 to 2020 edition of Doyles Guide as a Recommended lawyer in Planning & Development Law in Queensland. 

Gerard is also a qualified (previously practising) town planner and the current editor of the Queensland Environmental Practice Reporter.

Experience

Gerard has extensive experience advising and acting on behalf of clients in relation to planning litigation in the Planning and Environment Court. He has provided advice on all stages of development from due diligence through to approval and construction.

Key experience includes: 

  • Stockland — advised on various planning issues including on existing use rights, changes to approvals, lapsing of applications and approvals and minimum apartment sizes
  • Brisbane Skytower (QLD) — advised on DA issues in connection with the development of a mixed commercial, hotel and apartment project
  • Sunland — advising on various residential and commercial development projects in SEQ. Acting in Planning and Court and Supreme proceedings against a local government authority alleging negligent misrepresentation and errors related to infrastructure charges and credits 
  • Intrapac Property — advising and acting on development project in northern NSW and SEQ including drafting and negotiating complex infrastructure agreements
  • DFO — acted in Planning and Environment Court appeal against Council’s refusal to amend an approval for the proposed expansion of a retail centre
  • Citigold Corporation — acting in Land Court appeal in relation to financial assurance and other environmental compliance issues
  • Gympie Eldorado Mining — acting in Land Court proceeding in relation to financial assurance issues and other environmental compliance issues
  • Coles and Bunnings — acted on numerous projects including Planning and Environment Court appeals against Council refusals of applications and third party submitter appeals, provided advice on matters involving amending approvals, changing applications, infrastructure charges, relevant and reasonable conditions, superseded planning scheme applications, approval requirements and existing use rights
  • Banyan Tree Group — acted for and advised on the redevelopment of a multi-unit residential development proposal at Kangaroo Point
  • FRV — advised on the development of multiple solar farms throughout Queensland including providing advice on the ministerial call-in process following the filing of a submitter appeal against the approval of a large scale solar farm at Clare in far north Queensland and cultural heritage issues arising post development approval
  • Energex, Ergon and Powerlink — provided town planning law, acquisition and compensation advice and representation on land valuation and compensation matter in the Queensland Land Court
  • Logan City Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Rockhampton Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council — provided representation in environmental prosecutions, enforcement and Planning and Environment Court appeals and provided advice on and drafting of  planning schemes, planning scheme amendments and temporary local planning instruments. Advising on ministerial call-ins, investigation and enforcement, compulsory acquisition and compensation and infrastructure agreements.
  • McDonald’s — acted on numerous projects including Planning and Environment Court appeals against Council refusals of applications and third party submitter appeals, provided advice on matters involving amending approvals, changing applications, infrastructure charges, relevant and reasonable conditions, superseded planning scheme applications, approval requirements and existing use rights
  • Elders — acted in negotiations and Land Court proceedings with respect to land resumed for Toowoomba bypass
  • Pacific Reef Fisheries — acted on environmental enforcement proceedings commenced by an adjoining cane farmer alleging serious and material environmental harm. The proceedings also involved planning issues and the Burdekin Shire Council
  • Northeast Business Park — advised on the development of a 760 hectare parcel of industrial, commercial, residential and marina use. The project was declared a “significant project” and was recommended for approval by the Co-ordinator General. It was the subject of one of the most complex planning appeals heard by the Planning and Environment Court
  • Westlink — successfully appealed against refusal to grant planning permission for the development of a 1000mW gas fired power station near Gatton. The matter involved two appeals hearing before the Planning and Environment Court and two appeals before the Court of Appeal and considered complex issues associated with conflicts with the Council’s planning scheme, “need” and the alienation of good quality agricultural land
  • Ostojic Group — acted and provided advice with respect to approval and environmental issues in relation to a magnetite and copper concentrate load out facility in Cloncurry
  • Jemena — acted in relation to access, resumption and compensation matters involving the Queensland Gas Pipeline including claims for compensation, negotiating coordination agreements and crossing deeds
  • Department of Natural Resources and Mines (formerly DEEDI) — advised and represented landowners impacted by mining and gas exploration and development. These advices related specifically to land access and conduct and compensation
  • Department of Public Work — Project Services — provided advice and representation on community infrastructure designation and priority development area processes for projects including the Carrara Sports Stadium redevelopment, Gatton Correctional Facility and Townsville Stadium.

Publications

01 July 2020 - Knowledge

Climate change litigation and the Human Rights Act 2019

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We explore the outcomes of climate change litigation overseas and the possibility for this type of litigation in Queensland under the recently enacted Human Rights Act.

14 April 2020 - Knowledge

Land valuation objections in Queensland

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

If, as a landowner, you do not agree with your recently received statutory land valuation, you can lodge an objection. In order for an objection to be considered, it must provide sufficient information to demonstrate that the valuation is incorrect. This would likely include valuation evidence based on comparable property sales. The objection must be lodged within 60 days of the date of issue of the valuation notice. For the 2020 annual valuations, this date is 5 May 2020.

31 March 2020 - Knowledge

New renewable energy generation announced – Queensland’s first in 20 years

#Renewable Energy

In a statement on 26 March 2020, Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad announced that state-owned generator CleanCo are set to build a wind farm near Warwick as part of a huge new precinct that will generate 400 jobs and provide enough renewable energy to power 700,000 homes.

25 March 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

As the threat of COVID-19 continues to escalate, local governments across Australia have taken swift action to combat the virus, including recent legislative changes to elections and planning laws. In this article we examine some of those measures and other implications for Councils.

11 March 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

As the Queensland local government election date approaches, councils have entered a caretaker period during which certain decisions must be deferred until after the appointment of the new council. In the following article, we examine the business that councils can and cannot conduct during this period.