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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

17 May 2023 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin: Housing supply crisis in NSW – challenges & opportunities in planning

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

The challenges outlined in the State of the Nation's Housing Report highlight the pressing need for legal and regulatory change to address the housing supply crisis in NSW. In this edition, we discuss some opportunities for government from a planning perspective.

10 May 2023 - Knowledge

EV charging stations: Planning approval considerations for shopping centres

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

Installing electric vehicle charging stations in shopping centres may require changes to planning consents and occupancy certificates.

12 April 2023 - Knowledge

Transitioning to a more circular economy – proposed amendments to Queensland’s waste laws

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Proposed amendments to Queensland’s waste legislation will enact circular economy principles and product stewardship schemes, and establish a framework for better defining what is and is not waste.

27 March 2023 - Knowledge

Independent review into Australian Carbon Credit Units

#Government, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

An independent review into Australia's carbon crediting scheme affirmed that the framework is fundamentally sound, but has made 16 recommendations to increase transparency and public trust.

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.

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.

11 October 2022 - Knowledge

Future of climate change litigation against governments

#Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), #Government, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In this instalment of our ongoing ESG series, we look at some recent climate change cases brought against government bodies and predict what the main risks are for the future.

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.

10 August 2022 - Knowledge

Driving ESG: The Australian perspective

#Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Renewable Energy

ESG is a prominent feature in the Australian landscape and of increasing significance for government, business and the broader community. In this article, we examine some of the major drivers behind this trend.

10 August 2022 - Knowledge

Climate change risk reporting – what can we expect?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Renewable Energy, #Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

Australian companies currently do not need to report on their climate-related financial risks. With a growing appetite among investors, what can companies expect to see if Australia introduces mandatory sustainability reporting requirements?

22 June 2022 - Knowledge

Unpacking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transport, ESG and supply chains

#Transport, Shipping & Logistics, #Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Australian transport industry needs to find ways to export goods over long distances efficiently and, at the same time, balance the pressure from ESG investors to ‘decarbonise’ and enhance sustainability practices. In this article, we unpack the meaning of GHG emissions across the sector and ESG in supply chains.