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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

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

#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, #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. 

15 June 2022 - Knowledge

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) explained: Five important considerations for companies and their lawyers

#Corporate & Commercial Law, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The term ‘ESG’ is becoming increasingly popular in the world of business and investment. Apart from knowing that it stands for environmental, social and governance, what does the term really mean and why is it important for your business?

06 June 2022 - Knowledge

Water theft and the new zero-tolerance approach

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Diverting water from a declared water system without permission is an act of water theft under existing water laws. What strategies are water corporations using to ensure compliance?

25 May 2022 - Knowledge

Environmental laws under the new federal government

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The new federal government has proposed a number of significant policies to improve federal environmental frameworks, including a new independent environmental protection agency and a comprehensive plan to achieve net zero by 2050.

25 May 2022 - Knowledge

Allocating and managing grid connection risk

#Renewable Energy, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We look at whether parties can rely on contracts to allocate and reduce grid connection risks, and outline measures that developers, contractors, regulators and the government can adopt to improve the current situation.

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?