Guthrie Legal provides advice on a wide range of environment and planning matters.
Gabrielle's advisory work includes helping clients with environmental compliance and governance, and with strategic projects and transactions. Her contentious work includes advising on investigations and enforcement by the environmental regulators; on planning disputes and in civil cases relating to environmental matters.
areas of expertise in a nutshell:
- Environmental advisory - legal requirements for site management, regulatory reporting, legal registers
- Planning and major projects - including strategic planning, merits and judicial review
- Training on environmental obligations and risk management for boards and employees
- Environmental incident response and pollution notification
- Enforcement - defending EPA and other environmental regulators' investigations and prosecutions
- Transactions - acquisitions and disposals of contaminated sites, environmental aspects of M&A and other commercial contracts
Key sector experience
ENERGY & essential services - GAS, WATER, ELECTRICITY
Gabrielle has particular experience in advising owners, operators and asset managers of energy infrastructure. Her clients include Victorian and national entities with operations in numerous states and territories. She also advises service providers and contractors on environmental obligations, particularly around incident management.
Gabrielle's expertise spans development aspects of energy generation facilities (wind and solar projects) (including grid connections and transmission corridors) and operational management of transmission and distribution assets.
Her recent experience also includes advising on water pipeline interface issues in the road reserve and crown land, particularly with regard to consents for removal of native vegetation and street trees.
PROJECTS AND TRANSPORT infrastructure & operation
- Rail and Tram
- Ports and shipping
- Gas and electricity
Gabrielle is passionate about transport development and has advised on numerous transport cases including major infrastructure projects, for both proponents and objectors. She regularly advises on large infrastructure development projects requiring numerous planning permits and other state and federal approvals, such as EPBC approvals.
Some highlights of her experience include advising on Supreme Court and VCAT litigation in relation to the East West Link (including Moonee Valley City Council v Minister for Planning and Linking Melbourne Authority); advising on the proposed development of the Port of Hastings (Victoria); the development of the Port of Felixstowe and related branch line (UK).
She has also advised both consortia operators and shareholders in relation to environment and planning aspects of tram infrastructure and operation.
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
Gabrielle advises on a broad range of land use planning matters, particularly those that have an overlapping environmental issue such as pollution, noise, native vegetation, biodiversity, water and climate change.
She also has experience in merits and judicial review proceedings relating to planning issues, as well as planning enforcement matters.
Gabrielle has particular interest in strategic planning and has appeared before Planning Panels in a number of matters, including in relation to the strategic environmental impact assessment relating to the expansion of Melbourne's urban growth boundary (Amendment c123 to the Wyndham Planning Scheme).
TRANSACTIONS & COMMERCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT, INCLUDING M&A
Gabrielle advises clients on environmental issues arising in commercial transactions, including M&A and the sale and purchase of contaminated sites. She also advises on terms in commercial agreements, including leases, relating to environmental and climate risks and reporting. Contamination and remediation are often the most significant issues arising in transactions and commercial relationships, from a costs standpoint and also due to the complexity of the regime for liability for management, clean-up and auditing. Gabrielle has dealt with a range of issues associated with contamination and other risks. Recent examples of her work include advising:
- a prospective purchaser of a contaminated development site subject to environmental audit;
- a national company on due diligence relating to the acquisition of a business with sites in several states and territories; and
- on terms in service agreements relating to environmental management and supervision of contractors, for owners/operators and service providers.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE AND DEFENDING ENFORCEMENT ACTION
- Advising on environment and planning legal compliance obligations with local, state and federal law
- Incident response, including filing incident notifications
- Dealing with PINs, PANs, and Clean Up Notices
- Defending investigations and prosecutions against organisations and directors
- Negotiating enforceable undertakings and other measures with the regulators
Gabrielle has advised clients with operations in all states and territories and has recent experience of defending enforcement action by EPA Vic, NSW EPA and DEHP. Examples include advising:
- a Victorian business on response to PANs and CUNs, compliance with notices and requests to attend interview;
- a NSW business on responding to a show cause notice following noise complaints; and
- a Queensland site on incident notifications following pollution incidents.
Gabrielle also negotiated the first enforceable undertaking in Australia under NGERs legislation.
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MANAGEMENT
- Training for boards, executive teams and employees on environmental law obligations, incident response management, and dealing with the regulators
- Legal registers
- Legal risk management audits, including review of policies and procedures
- Structuring environmental investigations to protect your organisation
- Regulatory reporting including Annual Return, APS, NPI and NGERs reporting, as well as incident reporting