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With dual qualifications in law and town planning, Vanessa is uniquely placed to deliver tangible results for clients and projects across Australia. Her experience ranges from large scale master planned projects to acting for a number of local governments and government owned corporations, along with providing town planning and legal advice to major developers, publicly listed companies and private entities.

Having navigated and advised clients through monumental changes in the growth of regional cities and legislative frameworks over the past decade, Vanessa is accustomed to working in large multi-disciplinary teams, including project managing and advising on approval processes for large scale developments, infrastructure projects and environmental impact assessment matters. Completing detailed reviews and assessments of relevant state and federal legislative and local government policy to provide project teams with advice is central to Vanessa’s approach to delivering tangible results.

Due to her complementary skill set across planning and legal matters, Vanessa identifies and communicates the issues at hand with clarity to ensure project teams achieve legislative compliance in the most cost and time effective manner.

In recognition of her expertise, Vanessa is deputy chair of Port Norths, which is responsible for the development and management of Ports of Cairns, Cape Flattery, Karumba, Mourilyan, Skardon River, Quintell Beach, Thursday Island, Burketown and Cooktown. Vanessa is also director of Far North Queensland charity COUCH.


Vanessa provides legal services in planning and environment law on a large variety of matters:

  • advice on the Integrated Planning Act 1997, Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and Planning Act 2016
  • development approval processes
  • project management and application management
  • advice on regional planning and master planning
  • advice on state planning policies
  • due diligence investigations on large property transactions
  • Planning and Environment Court appeals and declaratory proceedings
  • development offences
  • drafting and review of local laws
  • drafting and review of planning schemes and Temporary Local Planning Instruments
  • environmental approvals, compliance and enforcement issues
  • built heritage and Indigenous and cultural heritage advice
  • advice on vegetation, coastal protection and other environmental matters
  • local law prosecutions
  • swimming pool fencing prosecutions
  • contaminated land issues
  • compulsory acquisition of land and compensation issues.