Minter Ellison

Michelle Pennicott
I am a planning and environment law specialist focusing on project approvals and planning dispute resolution, advising both public and private sectors. My clients benefit from my sharp and in-depth knowledge of the Queensland planning system drawing on 20 years’ experience, to achieve effective plan-making, successful project and infrastructure delivery and pragmatic resolution of planning disputes.
  • +61 7 5553 9433
  • +61 418 716 537

Career highlights 

  • Finalist for Government Team of the Year in the 2017 Australian Law Awards (TBA)
  • Recommended for planning and development law by Doyle’s Guide 2017.
  • Leads planning instrument drafting teams, such the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 which is well-regarded for its useability, reduction of red tape and delivery of economic and social outcomes such as affordable housing and centres’ growth.
  • Highly experienced in advising government entities on special-purpose legislation, including advising:
  • Queensland Treasury on the preparation of the land use plan for the Port of Brisbane, as part of the development assessment regime established under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (Qld) for the State Government's divestment of the Port of Brisbane;
  • the (then) Urban Land Development Authority and the City of Gold Coast on streamlined development approval processes for priority development areas in Queensland;
  • the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation on facilitating timely Games development.
  • Acts for local government in the planning and implementation of infrastructure funding, including legal review of local government infrastructure plans and adopted infrastructure charges resolutions, defending appeals against infrastructure conditioning and preparation of infrastructure agreements.
  • Successfully defended local government clients in challenges against its policy decisions, such as planning scheme preparation process.
  • Have been involved in many of the Gold Coast's most significant greenfield, urban renewal and infrastructure projects, including those that have established the blueprint for successful constraints-based planning, such as Nifsan and Broadlakes.
  • Extensive track record acting for local and State government and development proponents in relation to project approvals, including major mixed use and urban renewal projects such as The Oracle Broadbeach – $850 million mixed use development with 40 and 50 storey towers in the Broadbeach Central Precinct constructed by Grocon for Niecon Developments, the Howard Group's 400- dwelling Sphere development in the Griffith Knowledge Precinct and Jewel Surfers Paradise – a $970 million luxury hotel and apartment development by Wanda Ridong (Gold Coast) Development Pty Limited.
  • Member of the Legislative Review Committee of the Queensland Environmental Law Association.
  • Assistant Professor of Law at Bond University, lecturing in Planning and Development Law. 


Our team regularly publishes Developing InSight articles on the practical implications of the planning and environment law regime, as well as conversation on other topical issues affecting development in Queensland.