Environment & planning

Our environment and planning team has extensive experience in advising on all aspects of planning environmental law, including assisting clients in obtaining all necessary planning and environment approvals and complying with those approvals throughout the duration of a project.

We also regularly assist clients in assessing project risks and provide practical advice in responding to regulatory investigations as well as acting for clients in planning and environment litigation. We advise clients across a number of sectors including energy and resources, infrastructure, education and property development.

We understand the difficulties companies face in keeping up to date with the frequent legislative and policy changes that occur in the planning and environment area and provide training for our clients on new laws and how to remain compliant in a changing environment.

We regularly advise and represent companies across all states and territories. Our team has extensive experience advising companies across a range of sectors on all aspects of:

  • Planning approvals
  • Environmental licences and approvals (state and federal)
  • Development contributions
  • Contaminated land
  • Pollution incidents and response
  • Compliance advice
  • Biodiversity offsets
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Heritage
  • Native title
  • Climate change
  • Water licensing
  • Compulsory acquisition
  • Land access
  • Mining and exploration tenements
  • Draft policy and legislation review and advice

We regularly act in proceedings involving merit appeals of planning approvals, administrative law challenges to government decisions, compulsory acquisitions and pollution and waste prosecutions.

Our experience covers:

  • major energy and resources projects including coal and minerals mining, renewables, power stations and oil and gas projects;
  • infrastructure, including port and rail projects and operations;
  • education, including schools and universities;
  • government;
  • food production and agribusiness; and
  • commercial, industrial and residential developments and subdivisions;

Experience

Recent matters

CMOC Northparkes mine (gold and copper)

Acting on a range of planning and environment matters. 

Glencore

Advising on a range of environment and planning matters including the proposed Glendell Continued Operations Project and a modification of the Mount Owen Continued Operations Project.

Grafil

Acting in relation to a criminal prosecution brought by the NSW EPA against a company (Grafil) and director (Mr Mackenzie) in which it is alleged that Grafil/ Mr Mackenzie used land as a waste facility without lawful authority.

Grafil Pty Ltd & MacKenzie

Defending an appeal by the Environmental Planning Authority to the Court of Criminal Appeal regarding a waste charge.

GrainCorp

Acted in relation to an investigation and ultimate criminal prosecution by the NSW EPA regarding a breach of their environment protection licence at GrainCorp’s Port Kembla Grain Terminal.

Greenspot

Advising in relation to environment and planning aspects of the purchase, demolition/ decommissioning/rehabilitation and repurposing of the Wallerawang Power Station (Lithgow, NSW) into an ecoindustrial park.

Independent Schools

Providing planning advice to a number of leading Sydney independent schools on future development plans for improvement and expansion of existing schools.

KordaMentha

Advising on planning and environment aspects of the sale of Marda Gold Project to Ramelius Resources.

Large Australian Company

Providing advice on an investigation by the Environment Protection Authority into potential breaches of the client’s environmental protection licence and representing the client in subsequent prosecution proceedings.

Mangoola Coal Operations (Glencore)

Acted in proceedings in the Land and Environment Court and the NSW Court of Appeal against Muswellbrook Shire Council in which Mangoola disputed the categorisation of two large parcels of land surrounding the Mangoola Mine by Council for rating purposes. This matter is currently the subject of a special leave application to the High Court of Australia.

Mining Client

Acting for a mining client in an appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court relating to the categorisation of land by council for rating purposes.

Mount Owen Mining Complex (Glencore)

Advising in respect of planning and environmental approvals required for the Mount Owen Complex in the Hunter Valley, including the Glendell Continued Operations Project.

NSW Minerals Council

Acting as the primary advisor in relation to environment, planning and mining related government legislation and policies.

Pro Bono

Acting for an Indigenous client in relation to a land dispute on referral from Legal Aid NSW.

SGX listed Wee Hur Group

Advised on its acquisition of a $46.1 million site in Sydney's Redfern for future use as student accommodation.

Tahmoor Coal (SIMEC Mining)

Advised in relation to mining tenements, compensation agreements with landholders relating to potential subsidence impacts from longwall mining, as well as the negotiation of a rail corridor access deed with RailCorp and other Government departments.

Tahmoor Coal Pty Ltd (SIMEC Mining)

Providing environment, planning and mining advice in relation to the Tahmoor Mine, including preparing landholder agreements relating to potential future mine subsidence.

Various independent schools

Advise a large number of independent schools throughout NSW regarding planning and environment approvals required for expansions and modifications of existing schools, as well as the development of new schools including Knox Grammar School, Barker College, Cranbrook, Ravenswood School for Girls and Oxford Falls Grammar School.

Veolia

Advised on planning and environmental matters.

Recognition

Leading firm in environment & climate change for NSW
Doyle's Guide, 2019

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