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Joseph is a planning and environmental lawyer with extensive experience acting for private clients, local councils, government departments and water authorities.

If planning or environmental litigation is necessary, Joseph will often act as solicitor advocate.

Joseph has been listed since 2020 in the The Best Lawyers in Australia for Planning and Environmental Law. He has also been listed in the 2024 edition of Doyle's Guide as a recommended lawyer in Town Planning & Development for Victoria.


Recent Planning Experience

  • acting for a council as solicitor advocate in relation to a proposal for a controversial residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre
  • acting for a council as solicitor advocate before Planning Panels Victoria for a proposal to amend policy in the planning scheme to provide policy support for tourism uses in the Green Wedge Zone
  • 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 as solicitor advocates for Coliban Water and Western Water in proceedings before Planning Panels Victoria to apply environmental significance overlays as buffer protection around waste water treatment plants
  • acting before Planning Panels Victoria for the operator of a major hotel servicing Melbourne Airport in successfully opposing a planning scheme amendment that sought to rezone the hotel land to the Industrial 3 Zone
  • acting before VCAT for the permit applicant for an Islamic school
  • acting for numerous developers at VCAT regarding multi lot subdivisions and developments which have been refused permits on the basis of neighbourhood character
  • acting as solicitor advocates for Melbourne Seafood Centre before Planning Panels Victoria objecting to a proposed residential development. The matter involved complicated issues of land use conflict and industrial residual air emissions
  • acting for EG Funds before Planning Panels Victoria in relation to a major proposed mixed use development. The matter involved complicated issues of land use conflict in relation to the proposed residential use and ongoing industrial uses at surrounding land
  • 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
  • acting for a council as solicitor advocate in relation to the Ministerial call-in of 4 major state significant development solar farms. The case involved complicated technical issues around heat island effects and the conversion of irrigated land to solar energy facilities.

Recent Compulsory Acquisition Experience

  • acting for the acquiring authority with respect to settlements of compensation for loss on sale claims, advances of compensation and settlements of compensation for various road projects
  • acting for the acquiring authority for the Victorian Desalination Plant pipeline easements, including the conduct of several valuer conferences at VCAT
  • acting in Supreme Court litigation for a claimant for the Regional Rail Link acquisition
  • acting for a claimant against Melbourne Metro Rail Authority
  • acting for water authorities for the acquisition of land for tank sites, water supply easements and irrigation modernisation schemes
  • acting for Councils for the acquisition of land for various projects, including a freight and logistics centre and a bus interchange.

Water Industry

Joseph has for many years provided advice to Victoria’s water industry in relation to a wide range of issues.

A focus of Joseph’s practice for water industry clients has been providing legal advice with respect to issues arising from the provision of infrastructure, including pipelines, channel modernisation projects, tank sites and reservoir upgrades. His experience means clients have a single point of contact to provide advice and assistance with all aspects of these projects.

Joseph also holds a doctorate degree in law for his thesis titled ‘Law and Policy of the Murray-Darling Basin’.

Administrative Law

  • providing administrative law compliance advice to Government agencies
  • review of decisions - internal review, merits review and judicial review
  • IBAC matters involving Local Government.


18 June 2024 - Knowledge

Addressing rental affordability: Proposed tax concessions for build-to-rent projects

#Property, Planning & Development, #Taxation

New build-to-rent tax concessions have been introduced into Parliament through draft legislation that will lower the managed investment trust withholding tax rate and increase capital works deductions for eligible developments.

09 April 2024 - Knowledge

Drone usage soars as councils consider their privacy obligations

#Property, Planning & Development

With the increasing number of Councils using drones for investigative and compliance purposes whilst exercising their statutory power of entry, it is important they familiarise themselves with the possible legal challenges.

27 September 2023 - Knowledge

A new era for planning in Victoria

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Victorian Government's Housing Statement is reshaping the state's planning landscape with an ambitious target of 800,000 new homes in the next decade. We examine the key proposals and their impact on the state’s future development.

06 September 2023 - Knowledge

National Planning Reform Blueprint – the solution to Australia’s housing crisis?

#Property, Planning & Development, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The federal government’s National Planning Reform Blueprint is a multi-faceted central housing solution with planning, zoning and land allocation measures designed to improve housing supply and affordability. What are the key components and how could it be implemented?

01 August 2023 - Knowledge

Operation Sandon: Reforms to local government and town planning in Victoria

#Property, Planning & Development, #Government

Following the release of its report on Operation Sandon, we look at IBAC’s recommendation to remove statutory planning responsibilities from local councillors in the context of a current focus on housing supply.

31 May 2023 - Knowledge

Constitutional challenge: Can states tax electric cars?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Taxation

A landmark case before the High Court will determine the constitutional validity of Victoria’s recent electric vehicle tax.

01 February 2023 - Knowledge

Victoria bans single-use plastics

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

New environmental regulations have come into effect in Victoria, banning the sale or supply of some single-use plastics from 1 February 2023.

14 December 2022 - Knowledge

Ecologically sustainable development requires consulting traditional landowners

#Property, Planning & Development, #Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage

The Federal Court, at first instance and on appeal, has overturned an offshore drilling plan because the proponent did not properly consult traditional landowners.

30 November 2022 - Knowledge

NDIS and town planning – important changes to Victorian planning schemes

#Property, Planning & Development

We outline recent amendments to the Community Care Accommodation provisions in Victorian planning schemes, which have important implications for specialist disability accommodation providers.

22 November 2022 - Knowledge

Victorian Election: Reviving the State Electricity Commission

#Property, Planning & Development

Reviving a State government owned energy company represents a significant shift in energy policy in Victoria with broad impacts for decarbonisation and power bills.

26 October 2022 - Knowledge

Flooding and legal liability – what are we seeing?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The recent and ongoing extreme floods across the eastern part of Australia are raising a series of legal issues. In this article, we look at some of these key issues, including managing flood risk and development in areas subject to inundation, and the liability of public authorities for decisions that expose residents and businesses to greater risk.

11 October 2022 - Knowledge

Towards zero extinctions: Updated environmental policy in Australia

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property, Planning & Development

The federal government has released an updated action plan to change Australia’s biodiversity loss with the aim of zero new extinctions.

19 September 2022 - Knowledge

The new federal government's plan to safeguard the Murray-Darling Basin

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Australian Labor Party's plan to ‘future-proof’ Australia’s water resources includes a five-point plan to protect the Murray-Darling Basin. We consider this plan in its broader context.

06 September 2022 - Knowledge

Closer to a Circular Economy – New environmental legislation in Victoria

#Property, Planning & Development

A bill before the Victorian Parliament will legislate key aspects of existing recycling policy. The bill will establish a new waste to energy scheme, provide for long term waste policy and introduce new enforcement powers.