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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.

Recent Posts

01 March 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The annual 2021 Productivity Commission report on government services and housing reveals that the ongoing long-term reduction in the number of public housing dwellings.

24 February 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We provide a snapshot of the recent regulatory and policy developments affecting the waste industry in Victoria, Queensland and NSW that local governments need to be aware of.

17 February 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The Morrison Government has released Professor Graeme Samuel’s review of Australia’s Environment Laws which calls for significant reform of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

02 February 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Green Building Council of Australia announces the launch of the first phase of Green Star Online, a new platform that allows projects to easily apply for a Green Star rating.

18 January 2021 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin – summer edition

#Government, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects, #Data & Privacy, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In this special edition of our fortnightly publication, we reflect on both a tumultuous year for policymakers and on the delivery of government services and the changing times in which the government operates.

09 December 2020 - Knowledge

Deadline to amend discretionary trust deeds for foreign surcharge purposes soon approaching

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

A reminder for those who hold land in NSW via a discretionary trust, you may need to amend your trust deed by 31 December 2020 to avoid additional charges.

09 December 2020 - Knowledge

Cutting the red tape: New planning rules to support Victoria's 'Big Housing Build'

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We provide a summary of recent amendments to the Victorian Planning Provisions and planning schemes aimed to streamline the planning process and support economic recovery.

08 December 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

On behalf of the Australian Government, the ARENA has announced $341,990 in funding to Diffuse Energy Pty Ltd (Diffuse Energy) to demonstrate the effectiveness of its innovative micro wind turbine technology for use on off-grid telecommunications towers.

25 November 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

The final report acknowledges that natural disasters will be more frequent and more severe, and warns that consecutive and compounding natural disasters will place increasing stress on existing emergency management arrangements. The report focuses on what can be done to improve national natural disaster coordination arrangements.

10 November 2020 - Knowledge

The ongoing Western Highway duplication dispute over sacred Indigenous trees

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Native Title, #Government

We look at the latest complex and sensitive issues following widely publicised protests of the Western Highway upgrade regarding the destruction of culturally significant trees.

10 November 2020 - Knowledge

Director liability for environmental offences

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

We look at the categories of executive liability under a key environmental protection legislation in NSW and how you can manage your risk as a director or manager.