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Planning and environment

Cooper Grace Ward’s planning and environment lawyers have an outstanding reputation for providing commercial solutions to planning and environmental issues arising from property acquisition and development.

We offer a complete range of services to clients in the private and public sectors and work closely with leading consultants in fields such as engineering, environmental science, planning and cultural heritage.

Our team has the expertise and experience to also advise clients about important risk management and compliance issues that arise throughout the planning process.

This also includes advising on environmental approvals, environmental compliance and sustainability issues involved in major projects, transactions and developments.

We also represent clients in the relevant Queensland and Australian courts, including the Queensland Planning and Environment Court.

For support from our team of experienced planning and environment lawyers, email one of our key contacts directly or call Cooper Grace Ward on (07) 3231 2444.

We have extensive experience advising commercial and private developers, those affected by development, as well as the public sector in relation to the planning system.

Our team members have detailed knowledge of current planning law and policies and provide a commercially relevant and cost effective service for our clients.

Our services include:

  • advising on development applications and approvals, and planning instruments
  • conducting planning appeals
  • advising on infrastructure agreements
  • advising on heritage and native title issues
  • advising on resumptions and compensation
  • conducting resumption and valuation proceedings in the Land Court
  • advising on local government law and providing strategic advice
  • advising on due diligence and compliance issues of proposed development
  • drafting local laws and policy.

Members of our planning and environment group were part of a multidisciplinary team recently acknowledged for excellence in planning practice and administration by the Planning Institute of Australia.

We have been recognised for our expertise in providing advice on a range of matters including contaminated land and environmental prosecutions. We have a track record in assisting our clients in managing their environmental risks.

Our team has developed experience in this highly technical area and works closely with reputable consultants to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.

Our services include advising on:

  • contaminated land and remediation (including liability issues)
  • environmental audits, due diligence and impact assessments
  • pollution and emission licences
  • regulatory compliance and enforcement
  • directors’ and officers’ liability
  • waste management and landfill
  • flooding.

Our team is also closely involved in assessing and certifying environmentally sustainable developments through our involvement with EnviroDevelopment, a sustainability rating tool developed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

Cooper Grace Ward advises Queensland and national businesses on their legal obligations as they relate to the environment, including climate change policies, the carbon price and regulatory reporting.

Our advice includes the steps to be taken to promote and protect the interests of your business from legislative schemes dealing with the environmental capacity of your business.

Our client base includes well established businesses that are working to become carbon neutral, as well as companies and start-ups in the emerging ‘cleantech’ and renewable energy sector.

Our approach is different from our competitors in that we focus not only on diagnosis of sustainability and compliance issues, but also on developing a culture of legal compliance to protect your people and your organisation.

The firm also advises on the Water Act 2000 (Qld) including water licensing, allocations, permits and licences, as well as green building, sustainable development, town planning and environmental law issues.

Key contacts

Marcus Ford
Leanne O’Neill
Diane Coffin
Special Counsel
Vanessa Thompson
Special Counsel
Cameron Lack
Senior Associate


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