Mark is a specialist environmental and planning lawyer. He acts for Commonwealth, State and local government, statutory authorities, corporations and developers. Since 2011 he has consistently been recognised as a leading lawyer in environmental law and government law by Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific and Best Lawyers in Australia.
He is experienced in all aspects of environmental and planning law including contaminated land and brownfield redevelopment, project approvals (infrastructure, energy and resources), environmental regulatory compliance and due diligence and environmental and planning litigation.
Mark is experienced advising on environmental due diligence and legal strategies for managing environmental and planning legal risk in property and business transactions. Mark has worked on the environmental and planning aspects of major transactions in the food, transport, energy, mining, water, pharmaceutical, equipment hire and steel industries.
He also advises clients on environmental legal compliance and risk management and environmental management systems (including the ISO 14000 standard series), including environmental, energy and greenhouse corporate reporting.
Mark is known for his experience and expertise in contaminated land law and has published and presented widely in this area (including regularly presenting at the Clean Up conference organised by ALGA and CRC CARE and other industry conferences). He is actively involved in the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) and provides legal training to members of the Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association (ACLCA (Vic)) particularly in relation to environmental report writing and professional liability. Mark was recently engaged to advise the Victorian government on reforms to contaminated land policy and legislation in that jurisdiction.
He advises on environmental assessment requirements and planning and environmental approvals for major development and infrastructure projects (including road, rail, minerals, waste, energy, telecommunications and water) including a number of multi-jurisdictional environmental assessment and approval processes involving assessment and approval under state and Commonwealth legislation. Mark is experienced in representing clients in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (Planning and Environment and Real Property Lists) and Panels and Advisory Committees and NSW Land & Environment Court hearings relating to property developments and major infrastructure projects.
Mark is experienced in responding to Federal and state environmental compliance investigations, enforcement proceedings and prosecutions and acting in litigation in the Supreme Court and Federal Courts, particularly in relation to claims associated with contaminated land.
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- 2005: High Court of Australia
- 2002: Supreme Court of New South Wales
- 1998: Supreme Court of Victoria
Planning, projects and development
- Representing Telstra in various VCAT planning appeals and providing advice on planning permit applications for new telecommunications facilities.
- Advising Woolworths and Fabcot Pty Ltd in various VCAT planning appeals for new and existing supermarkets at Lara and Fitzroy, representing Woolworths/Fabcot at Panel hearing in Amendment C267 Armstrong Creek Town Centre.
- Advising and representing International Power / GDF Suez on a valuation dispute and rates appeal in VCAT associated with the Loy Yang B power station.
- Advising Future Fund / Peet on planning approvals, development contributions, native vegetation and EPBC issues for due diligence on purchase for major residential developments in Melbourne’s growth areas.
- Advising Stockland on land acquisition and compensation and Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) issues for residential development at Lockerbie. Advising Inghams / TPG on application of the GAIC in sale of property.
- Advising R&F Properties on strategic planning issues for amending a development plan and potential planning scheme amendment for future residential and commercial development at Eynesbury Township.
- Advising on environmental impact assessment and approval processes for numerous major infrastructure projects requiring approval under Commonwealth and State legislation (and, for a number of projects, under multiple State jurisdictions). These have included various road, rail and other infrastructure projects - including Telstra submarine cable, the East-West Link, Melbourne City Link, the Scoresby Transport Corridor, Melbourne Airport Rail Link, South Marong rail extension and Western highway duplication projects, the Basslink and BassGas projects, a mineral sands mine in Western Victoria, and various renewable energy projects (including windfarms and a solar farm).
- Advising Melbourne Airport on protection of threatened species, ANEF contours and State-based airport noise planning controls.
Contamination and brownfield development
- Advising large property developer on the negotiation of project and sale contracts with the Hunter Development Corporation (representing the State of New South Wales) in relation to the purchase, remediation and redevelopment of a 53 hectare industrial site at Mayfield, Newcastle for industry, warehousing and an intermodal freight facility. The redevelopment includes a significant remediation project association with a historical contamination legacy from the major steelworks, which BHP operated on the site between 1915 and 1999.
- Advising a number of Australian airports (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane) on Commonwealth and State regulatory requirements, strategies for procuring clean up and risk and liability allocation associated with contamination caused by tenants at various airport sites
- Advising major industrial and manufacturing companies on the management and remediation of contamination and brownfield renewal strategies including for GM Holden at the Fishermans Bend site.
- Advising the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to remediation projects, environmental liabilities and remediation costs claims in relation to a number of former gasworks sites in Victoria.
- Advising VicTrack on contaminated land management strategy, remediation projects and recovery of losses associated with contaminating activities from tenants, interface with regulator on clean up notice at particular sites and 'packaging' of clean up requirements at multiple sites. Mark has also provided extensive advice to VicTrack on native vegetation, cultural heritage management and federal environmental legislative requirements under the EPBC Act.
- Advising various Victorian local government clients (including Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Knox), which have large areas of land affected by industrial legacies, on management of legal risks associated with site contamination and historic land filling.
Environmental compliance and responding to regulatory enforcement action
- Advising large manufacturing clients on urgent response to regulatory notices to produce documents issued by EPA Victoria and EPA NSW in relation non-compliances with licences, annual performance statements associated with licenced facilities and prosecutions for environmental offences (including for Smorgon Steel, Lion, Industrial Galvanisers).
- Responding to federal and state environmental compliance investigations, enforcement proceedings and prosecutions, including enforcement and notices issued by the EPA under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic), enforcement proceedings by councils for alleged breaches of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) and investigations and enforcement NSW EPA under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) and by the Federal Department of Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). Mark has achieved positive outcomes for clients in four separate enforcement proceedings by federal and state regulators for alleged breaches of native vegetation and protected species legislation including the negotiation of enforceable undertakings under the EPBC Act.
- 1996: Bachelor of Arts (Hons,.1), Monash University
- 2007: Master of Laws (Environmental Law), Macquarie University
- 2007: Macquarie University, Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence
- 1997: Bachelor of Laws, Monash University
- 1996: Bachelor of Arts (Hons,.1), Monash University.
- Australasian Land and Groundwater Association
- Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (Vice President - NSW Chapter, 2004-2006; Vice President - Victorian Chapter, 2006-2007)
- Law Institute of Victoria
- National Environmental Law Association
- Planning Institute of Australia
- Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association.