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Clara Klemski-Edwards

MALP, GC-Arts Mgt, LLB (Hons) & Env.Mgt (Honours), GDLP

Senior Associate - Sydney

Areas of Expertise

Planning, Environment & Sustainability, Property & Real Estate


Clara is a Senior Associate in our Property, Planning & Development group. She specialises in:

  • Aboriginal cultural heritage, Crown land and land claims
  • litigation in the Land and Environment Court
  • cultural planning and placemaking
  • advice on NSW and Commonwealth planning and environment approvals
  • waste regulation, environmental offences and contaminated land management advice
  • biodiversity matters including sale and purchase of offset credits
  • general commercial skills in contract drafting, negotiating and drafting voluntary planning agreements and review for local government projects.


Clara’s recent experience includes:

  • advice on threatened species legislation for largescale residential development in NSW
  • Class 1 and Class 4 proceedings for rural residential land in NSW
  • advice to local government on Crown land management and Aboriginal land claims for major project
  • successful Class 1 proceedings for residential development in heritage conservation area

Clara’s has further experience including:

  • research and presentation of seminars to local councils in relation to Aboriginal cultural heritage, native title and land rights


Member of Indigenous Issues Committee, Law Society of NSW 

Member of Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Member of Environment and Planning Law Association of NSW

Member of Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group (SAMAG)


10 November 2020 - Knowledge

Director liability for environmental offences

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We look at the categories of executive liability under a key environmental protection legislation in NSW and how you can manage your risk as a director or manager.

23 September 2020 - Knowledge

EPBC Act review update: A power shift on the horizon?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Key changes to national environmental laws, including assessment functions being handed to the states and the likely inclusion of national environmental standards, are being proposed to address current and future challenges in Australia.

03 September 2020 - Knowledge

Overview – a new SEPP for housing diversity in NSW

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property & Real Estate

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has set the ambitious goal of providing more affordable housing in all local government areas in NSW

04 August 2020 - Knowledge

State Strategic Plan for Crown Land: An opportunity to reconcile complex land uses in NSW

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

We examine the draft Plan released by the NSW Government and explore the issues raised for the future of the Crown estate, including as it interacts with Aboriginal land rights and impacts on local government.

17 April 2020 - Knowledge

Review of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – a chance to refocus our national environmental laws

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) is undergoing a ‘once in a decade’ review (Review).

08 April 2020 - Knowledge

Review of the EPBC Act – Indigenous knowledge and culture focus

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) is currently under review with submissions invited from stakeholders. This article summarises the issues raised in the review in relation to Indigenous culture and knowledge, which is highlighted as a key focus in the terms of reference for the review.

12 February 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

The NSW Government will soon release its findings from a review into the effectiveness of Crown land claims. We take a look at the review and the expected outcomes.

24 September 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Are Aboriginal objects on land potentially a defect in title? This question was discussed by the NSW Court of Appeal in Mehmet v Carter. And the short answer is: Yes, Aboriginal objects on land may be a defect in title where they are protected from disturbance under a law.

22 March 2019 - Knowledge

NSW State Election promises: Planning, development and environment

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

With the NSW State Election looming on Saturday the planning and development industries have raised questions about the promises from the major parties.