Joshua Dellios
Partner, Melbourne
I specialise in helping clients navigate complex project approvals, land access and regulatory matters with a focus on the renewable energy, resources, infrastructure and urban development sectors. As a former environmental engineer and front-end corporate lawyer who has worked across Australia, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa, both government and private sector clients value my deep technical and commercial expertise and my solutions-focussed approach.

My practice focusses on helping clients develop and maintain their social licence to operate. I work hand-in-glove with clients to help them deliver complex major projects, including developing and implementing land access and assembly strategies (covering both voluntary arrangements and compulsory access and compensation) and assisting them to obtain project approvals (including providing representation in contested hearings) for environmental, planning, cultural heritage, water and regulatory matters.

I also regularly advise on biodiversity and carbon markets; climate change, nature positive, ESG and sustainability; compliance, regulator investigation and prosecution matters; circular economy and waste management; cultural heritage compliance and management; rehabilitation and decommissioning; contaminated land management; environmental licensing and pollution control.

Career highlights

  • Successfully advised Yarra Ranges Council throughout the Environment Effects Statement process for the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, a project that will ultimately deliver over 160 kilometres of mountain bike trails within national park, State forest and private land. The Project has been designed to be a world-class mountain bike destination, and to set a new benchmark in environmental protection, management and performance for mountain bike destination projects. My role included representing the project proponent throughout the 15 day Inquiry and Advisory Committee hearing process, which assessed the project's Environment Effects Statement and the associated planning scheme amendment, and received over 2,700 public submissions on matters including the appropriate use of national parks and protected drinking water supply catchments, impacts on endangered species and habitats, and the appropriate planning and regulatory controls for a long linear infrastructure project which is to be established within a sensitive environmental and social setting.
  • Successfully advised Marble Solar on all land access and approvals matters associated with the Winton North Solar Farm, a 100MW solar farm and battery storage facility. My role included negotiating land access arrangements for the project and associated distribution line, successfully settling objector and conditions appeals, and obtaining planning permission which was directed to be issued by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Successfully advised on the establishment and management of some of the largest and most significant nature conservation reserves in Victoria's history. This has included facilitating site establishment, contracting project delivery, securing long term funding through innovative mechanisms which access local and international biodiversity and carbon markets, and reserving the land for long term protection and conservation purposes.
  • Advising a number of miners of critical minerals, mineral sands and gold, and extractive industry operators on land access and assembly matters (including through use of voluntary agreements and compulsory access tools), approvals matters (including under mining and extractives, environmental, planning and cultural heritage legislation), regulatory compliance and rehabilitation matters. Also regularly advise industry through relevant industry bodies such as the Minerals Council of Australia.
  • Partner with organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme on thought leadership initiatives such understanding the role of climate litigation and liability as a catalyst of adaptation, and delivering work-wide training to financial institutions on the issue.
  • Advising some of Australia's largest organisations on over-the-horizon issues such as the implications of the nature positive movement for their business, and the development of the nature repair market.
  • Advising the State Government on a range of complex and confidential environmental law matters, including creating innovative reform proposals that have been accepted by Government and resulted in legislative reforms passed by Parliament.
  • Advised Rail Projects Victoria on planning, environment and land access issues for the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Tunnel project. This is one of Victoria's largest public transport project and the first underground railway constructed for more than a generation.
  • Acted for Neoen on the environmental, land and approvals issues associated with the development and financing of the 100MW Numurkah Solar Farm (one of Victoria’s largest solar farms). I have also assisted Neoen on land tenure, cultural heritage and approvals issues associated with the Kentbruck Green Power Hub, the Navarre Green Power Hub, the Shepparton Solar Farm, the Kaban Green Power Hub, the Bulgana Green Power Hub and and other early-stage renewable energy projects.
  • Advised IFM Investors on environmental and planning issues associated with its divestment of the Pacific Hydro business which included a portfolio of wind and hydro assets across Australia. This was part of a divestment of Pacific Hydro’s global renewable energy platform (with 900 MW of generation capacity across 19 hydro-electric and wind generation facilities in Chile, Australia and Brazil), and one of the largest renewable energy transactions in Australia to date.
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https://www.minterellison.com/people/joshua-dellios