Environment and Planning

Planning and environmental law is highly specialised yet it affects people’s everyday lives by shaping the future of our built environment and landscapes.

The legal complexities of the environment and planning regime can be challenging. Our environment and planning lawyers provide practical and strategic advice on development, compliance, planning appeals, contamination and compulsory acquisitions to a diverse group of public and private sector clients.

We work with our clients to develop strategies that minimise the risks associated with litigation, investigations and prosecutions.

Our environment and planning team benefits from the wider firm's extensive experience in complementary areas such as property, finance, infrastructure, major projects and commercial law.



Compliance is an important part of our work. We have considerable national expertise in applying and complying with state, territory and Commonwealth regulatory frameworks relating to environment and planning matters.

We act in environment audits and impact assessments, and manage environment and planning litigation and approvals. Our lawyers understand liquor licensing, land use regulations, heritage and Native Title law, and regularly complete due diligence on potential development sites. Our lawyers provide specialised advice on planning matters relating to bush fire hazards, flood mapping, vegetation, biodiversity, and planning controls.

Our lawyers regularly manage proceedings in the State Supreme Courts and Courts of Appeal, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, tribunals and the High Court of Australia.


Contamination, Waste & Circular Economy

We offer our clients a comprehensive understanding of the complex regulations and government policies relating to contaminated sites, including soil, water and air. Our experience in advising on contamination issues includes the statutory audit process, responsibility allocation, dealing with the relevant state or territory Environment Protection Authority, collaborating with site contamination and/or remediation consultants, advising on public consultation programs and liability advice and representation.

Our team is able to assist with navigating waste and circular economy legislation across each jurisdiction.

We act in contamination litigation in the Supreme Courts of each State, the Federal Court of Australia and the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales.


Compulsory acquisition

The compulsory acquisition and planning overlay processes are covered by unique legislative regimes that differ from standard property and conveyancing law practices.

Our team is well placed to advise on the application of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) and the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic), including advising on property possession, access, powers of entry, occupation, heads of compensation, engaging independent property valuers, and providing representation in valuers conferences/negotiations as well as representation in courts and tribunals.



Hunt & Hunt works with private, corporate and government clients in relation to environmental matters, including biodiversity legislation, vegetation clearing, water management approvals and regulations, as well as impacts of flooding and drainage related issues.

We regularly provide advice in relation to natural resource management and Crown land. We work with clients around Australia in both urban and regional areas to deliver practical legal advice in relation to all settings and scales.

Our team can assist with providing advice in relation to Environmental Impact Assessment, and schemes such as biodiversity offsetting and biodiversity credit generation.

We also have experience defending water management prosecutions.


Sustainability & Climate Change

Our specialised lawyers are able to provide assistance in understanding climate change risks and obligations. Our lawyers are familiar with international agreements and the pressures on business at present.

We are able to assist clients in relation to climate change risk and litigation, including potential risks associated with 'greenwashing'.

Our team has an understanding of the Emissions Reduction Fund and other emissions abatement processes.

We are available to provide due diligence and planning advice in relation to renewable energy projects across Australia, as well as recent legislation and policy in relation to the circular economy, waste reduction & management, and regulation of products such as single use plastics.

Our lawyers are passionate about sustainability and ESG and recognise this as a growing area of interest for all businesses and organisations.



The complex laws concerning irrigation water, including both surface and ground water sources, have evolved to better control, monitor and detect water acquisition to enhance sustainability for future generations.

Our solicitors have first-hand experience and knowledge of Agribusiness, including irrigation and farming practices. This knowledge, coupled with our team's legal expertise, enables us to provide a unique insight into the legal and practical issues concerning irrigation farming.

Our team has experience defending prosecutions for water related offences and navigating investigations by public regulators.

We are able to provide advice in relation to water licences and approvals, to assist water users to remain compliant.