Environment and Planning

MinterEllison's environment and planning team is renowned for its depth of expertise and comprehensive on-the-ground resources throughout Australia and in New Zealand, with client comments in Chambers publications describing our team as:

"Excellent in terms of its knowledge, service and responsiveness."

"They have expertise in every aspect of law: if things spill over into fresh areas, Minters will have an expert there too. Their greatest strength is their diversity. They also report frequently on developments and are very responsive."

"The lawyers' experience and understanding of law is impressive."

We work as a team across all jurisdictions, with the benefit of strategic and commercial advice that comes with thorough local knowledge.

Our team is at the forefront of policy development and many of our lawyers have first-hand experience working in environment, resource and planning agencies, and engaging with industry bodies. With the increasing focus on environmental impacts, our public and private sector clients rely on us to provide strategic advice in an area of law that is rapidly evolving and has a significant impact on business operations.

Our environment and planning law practice encompasses project design through to approval, implementation and operation. We advise and assist in obtaining the necessary licences and permits for projects or business operations., and we regularly advise clients on environment and planning approvals; environmental regulation and compliance; climate change and renewable energy; land resumptions; compensation and valuation; native title and aboriginal land claims; heritage; vegetation and biodiversity management.

Our experience spans a diverse range of environmentally sensitive industries, including mining, waste management, urban renewal and retail, industrial, commercial and residential development. We provide realistic response strategies to minimise risks associated with environment and planning litigation, investigations and prosecutions.

We provide a range of advice and representation on matters arising under the various state and territory laws and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). This includes the preparation of due diligence advice for the acquisition of major infrastructure with potential effects on native vegetation and biodiversity values, advice on vegetation clearance approvals regimes, and negotiation of vegetation and biodiversity management agreements.

Development projects require legal solutions from advisers who understand how the industry operates. Over the past five years we have been the legal and strategic adviser to more than 80 major water projects in Australia and Asia. We advise water industry participants, developers and the public sector on issues including reforms, access rights and transferability, environmental impacts and construction of new infrastructure (particularly using innovative methods of project delivery and funding). Furthermore, our environmental law specialists advise owners and operators of water and sewerage infrastructure on their regulatory rights and obligation for water resource management planning and compliance.

We also advise on a variety of waste management related issues, including preliminary planning, environmental approvals, licences or permits, stakeholder engagement, negotiations with authorities, project financing, ongoing compliance, climate change obligations and opportunities, litigation and dispute resolution, and project decommission.

Our key point of difference is our ability to provide tailored and cross-disciplinary teams for the life cycle of a project and our experience and depth of capability enables us to provide advice that is practical and commercially sound.

Acquisition of the Mermaid Marine Supply Base from MMA Offshore

Advised Toll in relation to its strategic acquisition from MMA Offshore of the Mermaid Marine supply base and logistics supply base business for approximately $44 million. The acquisition of assets included property leases, inventory, plant and equipment, leased equipment and statutory licences.

Port Kembla Harbour Expansion

Advised Port Kembla Port Corporation in relation to its project to expand the cargo handling facilities at Port Kembla. The project involved the expansion of cargo handling facilities, redevelopment of the terminal and construction of a new wharf which required dredging in the Inner Harbour. This transaction was widely considered to establish a new benchmark in transaction preparation and execution.

Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening Project

Advised Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening, one of the largest infrastructure projects conducted by the Victorian Government in recent times, seen as critical to the Port and Australia's position in global shipping. As key advisers to the Port of Melbourne Corporation, we advised on many aspects of the project, including the Supplementary Environmental Effects Statement and managed the public hearing process Federal Court litigation over the Federal Government's environmental approval for the dredging, cultural and Aboriginal heritage issues, relocation of essential infrastructure under the Yarra River, the resolution of the alliance dredging contract, and land tenure issues relating to land assets affected by the project.

Perth City Link Project

Advising the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority on all aspects of the Perth City Link Project, including drafting and negotiating the project deed for the development of the precinct, drafting and negotiating a suite of easements and covenants to manage the interface between the proposed above ground development and the underground public transport infrastructure.

Ord East Kimberley Expansion Project

Advising the State on all land tenure aspects of the Ord East Kimberley Expansion Project; developing, drafting and negotiating with Chinese proponent and Aboriginal Corporation the underlying land tenure model, including relevant aspects of Development Agreement and a suite of bespoke leases, licences and easements and other instruments; negotiating land access and use arrangements with mining tenement holders to manage overlap of inconsistent land uses.