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Thomas is a specialist in planning, environment, administrative and government law with over 15 years’ experience helping both private and public sector clients achieve ambitious goals. Thomas’ expertise is particularly sought where clients are faced with complex legal problems requiring clear thinking and a confident pathway forward. With significant experience in the private sector and as a senior executive lawyer in the NSW Government, including as General Counsel of a government authority, Thomas deploys his expertise and experience to find practical and robust solutions for clients when it matters most.


Thomas’s experience includes:

  • advising on the legality of a unique suite of consent conditions, providing the client with a clear pathway to grant consent for a prominent development in the resources and energy sector
  • unlocking significant value for a client in the education sector by confirming the permissibility of a unique and complex, multi-faceted precinct development
  • leading the drafting of major legislative amendments to the Mining Act 1992 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991
  • advising on permissibility and regulatory issues in relation to aged care and seniors living for a prominent institutional developer
  • advising on a range of complex rezoning, planning and development issues for a high net worth emerging developer
  • leading on prominent and successful major litigation to defend the validity of a development consent granted for the demolition phase of a social infrastructure redevelopment
  • preparing a successful prosecution relating to the dumping of waste in waters, under a provision of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 which had not been previously tested
  • being brought in for his specialist expertise in the drafting of legislation and government instruments, to review and overhaul the EPA’s draft Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval and Protocols, and to provide a final to ensure robust internal consistency of drafting and usability ‘in the field’
  • drafting various instruments and agreements for Government clients, including unique transitional agreements relating to the legislative overhaul of the coal mine subsidence regime, and key constitutional and procedural documents for agencies, such as instruments of delegation.


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.

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.

03 November 2021 - Knowledge

New planning regime for the short-term rental accommodation industry

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

A package of new legal requirements to control the status of short-term rentals under existing planning law came into effect on 1 November.

29 September 2021 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

As we wait for ‘Freedom Day’, the second tranche of the NSW Government’s Rapid Assessment Framework reforms will commence on 1 October 2021, seeking to facilitate a more efficient assessment of State significant development and infrastructure.

19 August 2021 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin


In this edition, we set out key tips to help councils draft a fee agreement that effectively binds proponents to reimburse their costs when considering a planning proposal request.

04 August 2021 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin


Recognising that there are opportunities to reshape the future is a key feature of the NSW Government’s COVID Recovery Plan, but how will that impact the delivery of legal services by government lawyers?

14 July 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

The City of Sydney has announced an Australia-first plan to include energy targets in development applications to make new buildings more energy-efficient and to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2035.

13 July 2021 - Knowledge

Road to net-zero by 2035: Energy targets in Sydney’s new developments

#Renewable Energy, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Local Government

The City of Sydney has announced an Australia-first plan to include energy targets in development applications to make new buildings more energy-efficient and to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2035.