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Planning, Environment & Sustainability

With dedicated teams in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, who also work nationally together, we deal with state and Commonwealth laws in their commercial and practical context to deliver outstanding results and client service.

Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Our hands-on experience gained working both with and within planning authorities, coupled with our work for the private sector, enables us to provide practical, strategic and knowledgeable advice in relation to environmental, planning and regulatory issues.


We act for local councils, developers, institutional and other owners, investors, financiers, construction companies, energy and utility and other infrastructure providers, resource companies, government departments and agencies, including the New South Wales Department of Planning, consultants and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects. We also have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Our expertise includes:

  • green buildings and infrastructure
  • energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • emissions reporting and trading
  • obtaining, defending and challenging consents, permits, licences and other approvals
  • navigating planning controls and other regulatory requirements and addressing assessment criteria procedures, including the preparation of applications and environmental assessments supporting those applications
  • drafting environmental planning instruments, planning agreements and other planning documentation and statutory interpretation
  • allocation of risk and liability in connection with the acquisition disposal and development of land, including contaminated sites
  • pollution incidents
  • environmental and planning and other prosecutions
  • environmental compliance and due diligence
  • management and remediation of contaminated land
  • environmental risk assessment
  • biodiversity
  • waste management
  • tribunal and court proceedings, including merit appeals and legal challenges, and alternate dispute resolution
  • resumptions, land compensation and the valuation of land
  • heritage laws
  • native vegetation and threatened species legislation
  • the law and practice of government administration
  • other areas of the law concerning the use, development and management of land and resources and the carrying out of infrastructure projects.



  • 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 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.

Recent transactional experience

  • acting for VicRoads in the preparation of section 173 agreements for Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) work in kind arrangements
  • Providing GAIC advice to a major residential developer with respect to strategies to reduce and defer GAIC payable.

Victorian Planning and Environment Handbook

Holding Redlich Partner, Joseph Monaghan, has put together a Handbook structured around key points that have been the focus of important decisions in the Victorian planning and environment jurisdiction.

Download the Handbook

Recent Posts

29 March 2022 - Knowledge

Elections and planning laws – can I put up a yard sign?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Planning laws were brought into the spotlight by the Supreme Court of Victoria which held that such laws do not prohibit the display of political yard signs.

16 March 2022 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We highlight some key updates for government as city life in NSW returns to ‘normal’, agencies undergo ‘machinery of government’ changes, and the new planning regulations and consolidated State Environmental Planning Policies commence.

15 March 2022 - Knowledge

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan – courts and water use

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We look at how a court would hypothetically consider a challenge to the legal validity of the Basin Plan if it were challenged on environmental grounds.

09 March 2022 - Knowledge

Legislated climate targets – does Australia need one?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Renewable Energy

The Climate Change Bill 2020 will create a federally legislated climate target if passed. But is it necessary to legislate our climate targets to achieve net zero?

23 February 2022 - Knowledge

Koalas classified as an endangered species in parts of eastern Australia

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Koalas are now declared endangered in Queensland, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory. How will this impact development approvals and environmental offset obligations in these states and territories?

14 February 2022 - Knowledge

Lost in transition – consolidation of State Environmental Planning Policies may cause problems

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We consider some of the potential issues with the NSW Government’s proposed approach to consolidate 45 existing SEPPs into 11 in a bid to make the state’s planning system more transparent and certain.

18 January 2022 - Knowledge

Australian and Californian water laws – can we learn from one another?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We examine the legal systems of Australia and California, and the impact their different approaches might have on litigation in the future.

08 December 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Australia stands to stymie its own renewables rollout, not through a lack of generation – but transmission – if the federal government doesn’t move faster on crucial infrastructure

22 November 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

New Federal ‘housing supply deals’ could help ease housing affordability pressures by unlocking thousands of new dwellings in key areas of housing need, according to the Property Council of Australia.

17 November 2021 - Knowledge

Can Australia transition to a low-carbon economy?

#Renewable Energy, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

A recent panel discussion highlights the opportunities, challenges and the role of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) in driving Australia’s transition to a green economy.

08 November 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Australia is hurtling towards a housing affordability catastrophe but the coming federal election and pandemic economic recovery policy with a strong focus on residential construction could be a game-changer.

03 November 2021 - Knowledge

Net zero by 2050 – does this matter for renewables?

#Renewable Energy, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan sets a ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ emission target. Is this a game-changer for the renewables sector?