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Kathryn Pacey specialises in environmental assessment, major project approvals, incident management, planning litigation and regulatory issues.

She has advised on the most significant infrastructure projects delivered in Queensland in the last 20 years, including transport, mining, water, energy and community infrastructure projects.

Kathryn also assists clients in responding to environmental assessment incidents and compliance issues, including managing investigations and interfaces with the regulator.

Kathryn shares her knowledge with clients in valuable workshops offered through the Clayton Utz Training Program.

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Expertise

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Environment and Planning

Major project approvals and environmental impact assessment

Kathryn's advised her clients on the approvals strategy and environmental assessments for many of Queensland's biggest infrastructure projects, including:

  • Inland Rail;
  • Athletes Village at Parklands;
  • Bus and Train Project;
  • Cross River Rail;
  • Clem 7;
  • Airport Link;
  • Legacy Way
  • Bruce Highway Upgrade (Cooroy to Curra);
  • Surat Basin Rail;
  • Darra to Springfield Road and Rail;
  • Traveston Crossing Dam;
  • Hinze Dam Stage 3;
  • Tugun Desalination Plant;
  • Wyaralong Dam;
  • Wyaralong Water Treatment Plant;
  • Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme;
  • Cedar Grove Weir;
  • Collingwood Park Estate remediation;
  • Gold Coast University Hospital;
  • Queensland Children’s Hospital;
  • Dugald River;
  • Pisolite Hills; and
  • Caval Ridge Mine.

Transactions: Due diligence and environmental aspects of sale and purchase agreements including for agricultural businesses, resources projects and industrial facilities. Issues include development constraints, approvals, compliance heritage, vegetation, coastal management, asbestos, land contamination.

Enforcement: Advised and represented the Coordinator-General on the management of a reprocessing facility in a State Development Area, including the issue of an enforcement notice, representing the Coordinator-General in the appeal against the enforcement notice, advising the Coordinator-General in assessing the subsequent SDA development application and successfully defending (with costs) judicial review proceedings challenging certain conditions on the SDA approval.

Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) – Commonwealth Games Village: Advising the Queensland Government on the development of the Village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. As legal adviser to the State for the procurement, our role on the project has involved advising the State on the legal aspects of the selection process and commercial negotiations including the preparation of all contractual documents, as well as approvals and land planning.

Graymont Limited purchase of the global lime and limestone business of Sibelco group:: Conducted planning and environment legal due diligence on complex lime and limestone business activities operated throughout Queensland. Post completion we have advised Graymont Limited on issues including environmental policies for operations, development approvals for quarry operations and the transition to the new financial assurance and progressive rehabilitation regimes.

Business cases: Advised on the business cases for the European Train Control System, Cross River Rail, Brisbane Live Entertainment Arena, Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor, Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, QPS Counter-Terrorism Centre and Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade project.

Compliance and incident management

Kathryn carries out legal compliance audits, including for large industrial facilities, and advises clients on the management of incidents, such as notification requirements, regulatory investigations, and prosecutions.

Due diligence

Kathryn carries out vendor and purchaser due diligence for the sale and purchase of land, agricultural businesses, mining interests and industrial facilities.

See Environment and Planning

Water

Kathryn's advised her clients on the approvals strategy and environmental assessments for many of Queensland's biggest water projects, including: 

  • Traveston Crossing Dam;
  • Hinze Dam Stage 3;
  • Tugun Desalination Plant;
  • Wyaralong Dam;
  • Wyaralong Water Treatment Plant;
  • Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme; and
  • Cedar Grove Weir.

See Water

Litigation

Planning & Environment Court appeals: Acted in a number of Planning & Environment Court appeals, including:

  • Mirvac Queensland Pty Ltd v Ipswich City Council and Anor – represented Ipswich City Council and successfully defended Council's land use approval
  • Mirvac Pacific Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council – successfully represented Queensland Rail defending a joinder application, with costs
  • Lipoma Pty Ltd v Minister for State Development – successfully represented Ipswich City Council with the Court determining that Council was the lawful decision maker
  • Wheldon & Armview v Logan City Council and RG Property – represented RG Property and successfully defended (with costs) the validity of the development approval.

Goodsell Earthmoving v Coordinator-General: Represented the Coordinator-General in successfully defending (with costs) judicial review proceedings challenging certain conditions on an approval in a State development area.

Regional Planning Interests Act appeals: Represented the State in the only appeals that have been instituted under the Regional Planning Interests Act, dealing with the intersection between mining interests and agricultural land.

Suntown Litigation (Kinsella v City Of Gold Coast): Acted for Council in the defence of a representative action in the Queensland Supreme Court, in respect of alleged economic loss as a result of a landfill.     

Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry: Represented Brisbane City Council (BCC) in the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Kathryn advised BCC, particularly on the terms of reference relevant to land use planning.  This involved submissions setting out the history of land use planning in the Brisbane City Council area, liability of local government for compensation for downzoning, examination of the approvals processes for particular developments of interest to the Inquiry (some dating back to the 1950s), briefing of technical experts, taking statements and providing strategic input into responses to the Inquiry.

See Litigation

Construction and Major Projects

Business cases: Advised on the business cases for the European Train Control System, Cross River Rail, Brisbane Live Entertainment Arena, Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor, Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, QPS Counter-Terrorism Centre and Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade project.

Major project approvals: Provided advice on the State and Commonwealth approvals strategy and environmental assessments for a number of infrastructure projects, including the Inland Rail Program, Cross River Rail, Kidston Pumped Hydro, CLEM7, Airport Link, Legacy Way, Bruce Highway Upgrade (Cooroy to Curra), Surat Basin Rail, Darra to Springfield Road and Rail, Traveston Crossing Dam, Hinze Dam Stage 3, Tugun Desalination Plant, Wyaralong Dam, Wyaralong Water Treatment Plant, Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, Cedar Grove Weir, Collingwood Park Estate remediation, Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland Children’s Hospital, Tarong Northern Land Ash Emplacement, Tarong Ash Dam Spillway Raising and a number of large mining projects, including Kunioon, Dugald River, Pisolite Hills, Cameby Downs, Ellensfield, Caval Ridge and the Ensham Central Project.

Cross River Rail Delivery Authority:  Advised on the environmental assessment, conditions and environmental aspects of procurement and contract management for the Cross River Rail Project.

ARTC Inland Rail:  Kathryn leads the Queensland environmental team advising on the  environmental assessment for Inland Rail.  

Toowoomba Second Range Crossing:  Provided advice on the approvals requirements for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Project, and environmental and planning aspects of the procurement phases.

Legacy Way, Airport Link Tunnel and Clem 7 Tunnel (Brisbane City Council): Advised on the EIS and approvals process for the CLEM7 Tunnel, Airport Link Tunnel and Legacy Way.  

See Construction and Major Projects

Energy and Resources

NEGI: Advised the NT Government on the environmental issues, approvals and strategy for the delivery of the North East Gas Interconnector.

Regional Planning Interests Act: Represented the State in the only two legal proceedings that have been commenced under the Regional Planning Interests Act, dealing with the impacts of mining on agricultural land.

MMG Dugald River (MMG): Advice in relation to the environmental assessment and approvals for the Dugald River Mine, and subsequent due diligence on environmental aspects of the mine to secure financing.

Compliance investigations: Assisted a number of mining companies in relation to enforcement proceedings being taken by the regulator, including environmental investigations, transitional environmental programs and prosecutions in relation to water management, financial assurance and tailings storage.

Financial provisioning regime: Advised a number of resources clients in relation to the transition to the new financial provisioning regime in Queensland.

Chain of Responsibility: Advised a number of mining entities on potential liabilities under the Chain of Responsibility amendments, and provided advice on the structuring of transactions to minimise exposure.  Kathryn was also part of the QRC's Chain of Responsibility Working Group.

See Energy and Resources

Knowledge

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