Planning and Environment

MinterEllison acts for government departments, agencies and statutory authorities at federal, state/territory, and local government levels. Our Planning and Environment team has developed a strong a strong climate change practice, with many of our leading partners dual qualified with a background in engineering.

We provide specialist advice and litigation services to both the public and private sectors on the delivery of large scale developments across Australia. Our team assist in the planning and environmental aspects of government projects or landholdings (including advice on heritage, natural resources, and contamination) that require the delivery of solutions in a efficient and cost effective manner. We have also worked with private clients to help them understand and capitalise on government policies and schemes.

We apply a cross-disciplinary approach, drawing together specialists from across the firm in environment and planning, corporate, energy and resources, dispute resolution, finance, tax and infrastructure. Our team is known for doing high profile, 'bet the business' developments that require more than just 'black letter law' input and we apply this approach during the delivery of large and complex transactions for our government clients.

Port Botany and Port Kembla Transaction

Advised the New South Wales Government (NSW Treasury) on the refinancing of Port Botany and Port Kembla in NSW. The project was unique, involving the contemporaneous refinancing and long term lease of two major Australian ports. Our role included extensive legal analysis of the existing assets and businesses and the regulatory landscape; recommending a transaction structure; drafting special transaction legislation; asset restructuring; preparing extensive interrelated transaction documents; tender process and negotiations; and implementation under legal project management. The project was complex and very significant for NSW, with the transaction 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.

$800m Discovery Point mixed use development

Acting for a wholly owned subsidiary of Frasers Property Australia (formerly Australand Holdings Ltd) on the A$800 million Discovery Point development at Wolli Creek in New South Wales. This 8-hectare mixed use development will feature residential apartments, commercial offices, an integrated retail centre and extensive public and private parklands. We are advising on procurement and OH&S strategies, drafting pro-forma and project specific documentation (such as consultancy agreements and design and construct contracts), assisting in the preparation of the tender conditions, advising on the tendering process and compiling documentation for tender.

NSW Ports Refinancings

Our Ports team is the leading legal specialists in this sector, with key roles advising on all recent major national port refinancing deals. We were the sole legal advisers to NSW Treasury in relation to the A$5.07 billion restructure and refinancing of the State-owned assets of Port Botany and Port Kembla, with proceeds from the transaction to be invested in the NSW Government's infrastructure fund, Restart NSW. The transaction was completed on 31 May 2013 and considered the largest and most complex of its kind in Australia.