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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

13 October 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The escalating risk from natural hazards anticipated for years in Australia is now manifest and is outstripping the nation’s preparedness to manage the fallout, a Royal Commission hearing was told last week. The hearing heard Australia faces more frequent and intense disasters due to climate change and now is the time to make policy changes.

29 September 2020 - Knowledge

Farming noise and environmental nuisance in Queensland

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Agribusiness

The need for more land redevelopment in Queensland has led to increased complaints against farmers for noise nuisance caused by farming activities. Are there laws in place to protect farmers? What about other states?

29 September 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Australia’s first sustainability-linked loan tied to achieving better social outcomes is capturing international interest.

23 September 2020 - Knowledge

Challenges and opportunities for Queensland’s water infrastructure sector

#Construction & Infrastructure, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Queensland water sector is facing major challenges presently and into the future, including climate change and ageing assets.

23 September 2020 - Knowledge

EPBC Act review update: A power shift on the horizon?

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Key changes to national environmental laws, including assessment functions being handed to the states and the likely inclusion of national environmental standards, are being proposed to address current and future challenges in Australia.

16 September 2020 - Knowledge

Alfresco dining in Victoria: Enjoying the sun without litigation

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Local Government, #COVID-19

The new Victorian Government Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package creates new opportunities for local government and hospitality sector to revitalise the economy. In embracing this new initiative, our hosts need to think about potential legal exposure.

15 September 2020 - Knowledge

The interface of agricultural and urban land uses

#Agribusiness, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

COVID-19 has given our nation’s economy a seismic shake-up. One aspect of that is the closure of our nation’s border to international travellers and migrants, which is impacting all sectors of the economy to some degree and in various ways.

14 September 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Morrison Government has released the March 2020 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

03 September 2020 - Knowledge

Overview – a new SEPP for housing diversity in NSW

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property & Real Estate

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has set the ambitious goal of providing more affordable housing in all local government areas in NSW

01 September 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Australia's farmers say the country needs a more rigorous policy on climate, calling on the Morrison Government to commit to an economy-wide target of net zero carbon emission by 2050

01 September 2020 - Knowledge

Planning new residential neighbourhoods in Queensland to encourage walking for transport, leisure, recreation and exercise

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Planning regulations introducing new assessment benchmarks for residential neighbourhoods to encourage walking for transport, leisure, recreation and exercise are due to commence on 28 September 2020.

17 August 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

How we plan and develop urban areas, build infrastructure and respond to the needs of growing populations are factors determining the long-term prosperity of cities and people, according to the United Nations’ latest sustainable development goals report