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Expertise

Blake is passionate about working with stakeholders to achieve the best natural and built environment for us all to live in. He understands that better planning outcomes and high quality development enhances the communities in which they are built.

Blake has extensive experience working with and for many local government authorities and State government authorities and he understands the competing interests and needs that they face. This awareness of the needs of government has enabled him to deliver better outcomes for our clients, both private and public.

Blake has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) matters
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 matters
  • Local Government Act 1993 matters
  • Crown Lands and public land matters
  • Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 matters
  • Land and Environment Court appeals and prosecutions
  • local court matters
  • advising planning officers and regulatory and compliance officers.

Experience

Blake’s strong experience includes:

Planning and Environment Law

Acted for and assisted a local council in the prosecution of a company which undertook development without consent in an area declared to be critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 

Acted for and assisted local councils with the prosecution of various offences under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Local Government Act 1993, Protection of the Environment and Operations Act 1997, Food Act 2003 and the Roads Act 1993

Acted for and assisted local councils in numerous Class 1, 2, 4 & 5 matters in the Land and Environment Court

Acted for and assisted numerous applicants with Class 1, 4 and section 56A appeals in the Land and Environment Court

Acted for and assisted NSW government departments with biobanking/stewardship/conservation agreements

Provided detailed advice for local council officers regarding planning and regulatory matters under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Local Government Act 1993, Protection of the Environment and Operations Act 1997, Crown Lands Act 1989, Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013, Food Act 2003 and the Roads Act 1993.

Local government projects and governance

  • Assisted in the tendering process for a local council for the development of civic places and for other council projects
  • Assisted in the code of conduct reviews for a local council
  • Drafted and reviewed contracts, agreements, MOU’s, leases and licences with particular emphasis on Local Government and Crown Land issues.

General regulatory and administrative law

  • Reviewed Notices of Decision, acted and assisted a council in an application in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) commenced by a resident seeking access to information that a local council did not hold under the GIPA Act
  • Acted for and assisted councils in an application in the NCAT commenced by a resident seeking access to confidential information held by a local council under the GIPA Act.

Publications

12 March 2019 - Knowledge

Concurrence and referrals: New step in powers for the Planning Secretary

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

As part of the recent reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment was given new powers to seek to prevent delays to applications and resolve disputes between agencies for integrated development.

15 November 2018 - Knowledge

Preparing clause 4.6 requests to vary development standards: An applicant’s guide

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

This article reflects on recent cases and provides a practical guide on how to prepare a clause 4.6 Request to vary development standards

06 March 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Investa claims it is the first property company in Australian to achieve an approved real estate Science Based Target. The company committed to net zero emissions by 2040 in 2016 across its office portfolio and business operations.