Deanna McMaster
Partner, Brisbane
I manage the safety, employment and industrial relations risks across both private and public sector clients, covering industries such as health, construction, electricity, mining, oil and gas, coal ports and transportation (including rail and heavy vehicles).

In relation to health and safety, I pride myself on providing practical, timely advice about statutory regimes and safety systems and working closely with clients in Queensland and nationally. I often help manage the immediate aftermath of an incident, and the investigations that may follow. Having acted for numerous regulators, I understand both sides of the enforcement process.

In addition to providing general employment and industrial relations advice and managing related litigation (including discrimination, adverse action and termination disputes), I advise on the employment aspects of corporate restructures and sales and work with businesses to develop tailored industrial strategies and negotiate enterprise agreements.

Career highlights

  • Queensland Department of Health – advised on the first prosecution under Queensland’s radiation safety regime, as well as other summary prosecutions under the Justices Act. Also advised on the safety obligations arising under the WHS Act.
  • Queensland Resources Council; Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association; Wild Desert; Savanna Energy; an employee of Weatherford – advised oil and gas businesses, statutory role holders and industry bodies on key issues affecting the industry, including the application of the petroleum and gas safety regime and prosecutions under that regime.
  • Advanta Seeds; Dole Australia – assisted these and other agricultural businesses with the management of safety incidents and related prosecutions
  • Peabody Energy; Rio Tinto; Pacific Aluminium; BHP Billiton; Anglo American; Yancoal – worked with key mining businesses on safety and employment issues.
  • Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal; Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal; North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation – advised coal ports on employment and safety issues.
  • Energex; Ergon Energy; Powerlink Queensland – informed electricity providers about electrical safety issues and how their businesses interact with other safety regimes.
  • Queensland Government – worked on various asset restructures, including the successful $1 billion sale of the Cairns and Mackay airports; the sale of the Port of Brisbane; and the sale of an interest in Brisbane Airport.
  • Key rail transport operators – advised on all aspects of rail safety, including amendments to Queensland’s rail safety regime.
  • Provided information to businesses from numerous industries on the impact of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
  • Rio Tinto – completed a secondment as HR Advisor at the Gove Operations.
  • Powerlink Queensland – completed a secondment as a corporate lawyer.
  • Queensland Treasury – Advised on the employment and safety aspects of the lease packages for the Queensland electricity networks.
  • Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads – Advising in relation to health and safety.
  • Employee at Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – Advising in relation to a serious safety matter.
  • Advising various government and non-government Boards and Executive Leadership Teams including the Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Powerlink Queensland, Stanwell Corporation, Queensland Treasury Corporation and the Royal Flying Doctors Service in relation to personal, regulatory obligations arising under safety regimes.