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Planning, Environment & Sustainability

With dedicated teams in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, who also work nationally together, we deal with state and Commonwealth laws in their commercial and practical context to deliver outstanding results and client service.

Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Our hands-on experience gained working both with and within planning authorities, coupled with our work for the private sector, enables us to provide practical, strategic and knowledgeable advice in relation to environmental, planning and regulatory issues.

Expertise

We act for local councils, developers, institutional and other owners, investors, financiers, construction companies, energy and utility and other infrastructure providers, resource companies, government departments and agencies, including the New South Wales Department of Planning, consultants and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects. We also have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Our expertise includes:

  • green buildings and infrastructure
  • energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • emissions reporting and trading
  • obtaining, defending and challenging consents, permits, licences and other approvals
  • navigating planning controls and other regulatory requirements and addressing assessment criteria procedures, including the preparation of applications and environmental assessments supporting those applications
  • drafting environmental planning instruments, planning agreements and other planning documentation and statutory interpretation
  • allocation of risk and liability in connection with the acquisition disposal and development of land, including contaminated sites
  • pollution incidents
  • environmental and planning and other prosecutions
  • environmental compliance and due diligence
  • management and remediation of contaminated land
  • environmental risk assessment
  • biodiversity
  • waste management
  • tribunal and court proceedings, including merit appeals and legal challenges, and alternate dispute resolution
  • resumptions, land compensation and the valuation of land
  • heritage laws
  • native vegetation and threatened species legislation
  • the law and practice of government administration
  • other areas of the law concerning the use, development and management of land and resources and the carrying out of infrastructure projects.

Experience

Victoria

  • acting for the owner of a major site in which our client successfully rezoned its land through the Planning Panel process to the Mixed Use Zone to facilitate a major mixed use residential development. The matter involved complex planning issues in relation to heritage, building height and mass, public open space, traffic, community objection and setbacks to the Yarra River
  • acting for a metropolitan council in proceedings at VCAT with respect to the conversion of a former hotel to a multiunit residential development
  • acting for a regional council in numerous proceedings at VCAT including conditions appeals, declaration proceedings, and planning enforcement proceedings
  • acting for the permit applicant in proceedings before VCAT for a $150 million hotel and apartment development at St Kilda Road. The permit was successfully secured through the compulsory conference process
  • acting for ISPT in an appeal to the Heritage Council of Victoria with respect to heritage issues at the former General Post Office building.

Recent environmental experience

  • acting as solicitor advocates for Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group in proceedings before VCAT regarding the Melbourne Regional Landfill and also the Werribee Landfill
  • acting for St Andrews Golf Club in various proceedings relating to groundwater issues involving Peninsula Hot Springs and Southern Rural Water.

Recent transactional experience

  • acting for VicRoads in the preparation of section 173 agreements for Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) work in kind arrangements
  • Providing GAIC advice to a major residential developer with respect to strategies to reduce and defer GAIC payable.

Recent Posts

01 July 2020 - Knowledge

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 comes into effect – but is it designed right?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

On 11 June 2020, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (Act) took effect. The new Act is about restoring public confidence in the NSW building industry by regulating the activities of those who design and construct new buildings.

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.

23 June 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Insurance Australia Group confirms its major rural and regional insurer, WFI, will join its other subsidiary, CGU, in no longer providing insurance coverage if there is "unconventional gas" operations on properties

17 June 2020 - Knowledge

Developers risk not being able to get occupation certificates from 1 September

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Construction & Infrastructure

From 1 September 2020, the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 will give NSW building regulators the unprecedented power to prevent the issuing of an occupation certificate for new residential apartment buildings.

17 June 2020 - Knowledge

How can I claim compensation for an adverse planning change?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We outline the provisions of the Queensland Planning Act 2016 that allow a claim for compensation to be made against a local council for an adverse planning change.

10 June 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

More than 180 health professionals have signed an open letter to environment minister, Sussan Ley, warning the government to strengthen Australia’s weak environment laws, or risk the future health of the nation. The action comes ahead of the review into Australia’s EPBD Act, with a draft report from the review panel expected in June.

03 June 2020 - Knowledge

A ‘right to a hearing’ not found to exist in Victorian compulsory acquisition procedure

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Victorian Court of Appeal has overturned a Supreme Court judgment on a right to be afforded procedural fairness in the compulsory acquisition of land. What does this imply for acquiring authorities and landowners?

26 May 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Morrison Government has released independent scientific research to identify and manage environmental impacts from potential gas developments in the Cooper, Isa and Beetaloo basins

13 May 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Property Council of Australia has called on state and territory governments to consider housing and display home inspections as they look at easing social distancing restrictions.

06 May 2020 - Knowledge

Overview of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 (Vic) – from a planning perspective

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

We look at how the temporary legislative amendments under the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 will affect the Victorian planning industry and the measures in place to facilitate the continual running of the business.

29 April 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

There has been a rapid and steep decline in sentiment across the Australian property industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic according to the ANZ Property Council industry survey for the June 2020 quarter.   Economic management (33%) is considered the most critical issue for the property industry that should be addressed by the Australian Federal Government, according to survey respondents

22 April 2020 - Knowledge

Australia’s planning systems and development pipeline continues to function during COVID-19

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

The Australian Government Minister for Cities, State and Territory Planning Ministers, and the President of the Australia Local Government Association have entered into a Communique from Planning Ministers.