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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.

Expertise

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.

Experience

Victoria

  • 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.

Recent Posts

04 August 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

City Deals that connect jobs and affordable housing for workers in Australia’s cities and regions could be the key to urban productivity growth, new AHURI research reveals

04 August 2020 - Knowledge

State Strategic Plan for Crown Land: An opportunity to reconcile complex land uses in NSW

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

We examine the draft Plan released by the NSW Government and explore the issues raised for the future of the Crown estate, including as it interacts with Aboriginal land rights and impacts on local government.

22 July 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Planning and property laws aren't fit to manage the growing threats to property, the bushfire royal commission heard. Housing regulations are particularly urgent given the large scale rebuild required in the wake of the Black Summer fires, which destroyed around 3000 homes between NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

15 July 2020 - Knowledge

Extension to particular currency periods for Planning Act approvals

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

Particular development approvals under the Planning Act have been given a uniform six-month extension by the Queensland Government.

15 July 2020 - Knowledge

Changes to public notification and public access to documents for Queensland planning applications

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #COVID-19

Options available to an applicant when publicly notifying development applications and particular change applications made under the Planning Act 2016, in certain circumstances, have increased – only until 31 December 2020.

08 July 2020 - Knowledge

Court finds Council not entitled to costs following discontinuance of Class 1 appeal

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

A recent decision of the NSW Land and Environment Court has confirmed that a Respondent Council is not entitled to recover its costs simply because an applicant discontinues its Class 1 appeal prior to final hearing.

08 July 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Almost 80 per cent of federal environmental approvals examined in a high-level review were non-compliant or contained errors, Australia's audit office says

01 July 2020 - Knowledge

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 comes into effect – but is it designed right?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

On 11 June 2020, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (Act) took effect. The new Act is about restoring public confidence in the NSW building industry by regulating the activities of those who design and construct new buildings.

01 July 2020 - Knowledge

Climate change litigation and the Human Rights Act 2019

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We explore the outcomes of climate change litigation overseas and the possibility for this type of litigation in Queensland under the recently enacted Human Rights Act.

23 June 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Insurance Australia Group confirms its major rural and regional insurer, WFI, will join its other subsidiary, CGU, in no longer providing insurance coverage if there is "unconventional gas" operations on properties

17 June 2020 - Knowledge

Developers risk not being able to get occupation certificates from 1 September

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Construction & Infrastructure

From 1 September 2020, the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 will give NSW building regulators the unprecedented power to prevent the issuing of an occupation certificate for new residential apartment buildings.

17 June 2020 - Knowledge

How can I claim compensation for an adverse planning change?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We outline the provisions of the Queensland Planning Act 2016 that allow a claim for compensation to be made against a local council for an adverse planning change.