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Vanessa Maruna

LLB (Hons), BEnvPlan

Partner - Cairns

Areas of Expertise

Planning, Environment & Sustainability, Local Government

Expertise

Vanessa holds dual qualifications in the fields of town planning and law and has been practicing as an environmental and planning lawyer and town planner for over 10 years. 

During this time, she has had experience working on large scale master planned projects and acted for a number of local governments, major developers, publicly listed companies, private entities and James Cook University providing town planning and legal advice on a large range of matters throughout Far North Queensland. 

Vanessa has extensive experience 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 including completing detailed reviews and assessment of relevant state and federal legislative and local government policy and providing project teams with advice on the impact of legislation and policy on projects as required. 

Due to her complementary skill set, Vanessa is able to clearly identify and communicate legal issues and town planning issues to project teams to ensure that legislative compliance is achieved in the most cost and time effective manner. 

Experience

Vanessa provides legal services predominantly 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.

Publications

05 August 2019 - Knowledge

Design excellence: When near enough is not good enough

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

This article looks at a recent Land and Environment Court of New South Wales decision and what is required to achieve design excellence.

05 August 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The team at sustainability-focused Brisbane building firm Solaire Properties has set itself a sizeable task - building a mammoth passive house, designed by award-winning architect Joe Adsett and adapted to meet stringent international design and building criteria.

31 July 2019 - Knowledge

The case for a Federal Royal Commission in relation to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan and associated controversy continues to make news.