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Madeline Simpson

Special Counsel

Madeline leads the Queensland Environment practice and specialises in environmental, development and planning law.

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Experience

Madeline leads the Queensland Environment practice and specialises in environmental, development and planning law. She provides strategic advice in relation to approvals and permits required for major projects and developments, and has expertise in environmental compliance, contaminated land issues, environmental impact statements, offsets and environmental incident response. 

Madeline works with clients in the infrastructure, property development, resources, electricity, water and gas sectors. She is very responsive, calm under pressure and focused on delivering strong commercial outcomes. Madeline’s expertise in planning and environment is highlighted by her listing in Best Lawyers since 2014. 

She helps clients manage regulatory risks and engage with regulators to achieve positive commercial and environmental outcomes. Madeline works with clients to develop approval strategies, including helping them with offsets delivery and contaminated land issues for developments. She also helps with environmental incident training and is on call for incident response.

Madeline has defended some of the largest environmental prosecutions in Queensland and has acted in a number of Planning and Environment Court matters, as well as litigation arising out of development appeals, environmental incidents and compensation matters. 

She has been involved in the development of environmental regulatory policy in Queensland, and is a member of the Queensland Resources Council Environment Committee and Queensland Law Society Planning and Environment Law Committee. Recently, Madeline led the firm’s efforts to inform clients about amendments to environmental legislation that had far-reaching consequences for investors, parent companies and related entities.

Madeline’s experience includes advising:

  • Lendlease in relation to planning and environment issues, offsets delivery, and EPBC Act approval requirements and variations for its Yarrabilba development, RNA Showgrounds development and Rocky Springs development
  • Queensland State Government on planning and environmental approvals strategies, including community infrastructure designations for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Project, the SEQ Schools Project, together with the contamination issues associated with the proposed sale of the assets of Forestry Plantation Queensland
  • BHP Billiton on its proposed mine to port railway line from the Bowen Basin to the Abbott Point Coal Terminal, together with various operational and complance issues facing a number of its mines
  • a multi jurisdictional chemical manufacturer and a number of mine owners on environmental issues including defending environmental prosecutions and acting in judicial review proceedings
  • Jemena on environmental and planning issues associated with its successful bid to build and operate the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI), connecting the Northern Territory’s gas fields to the East Coast gas market

Background

Madeline joined us in 2001 and was appointed special counsel in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Accountancy from Queensland University of Technology. 

Madeline was admitted to practise law in Queensland in 1998 and is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland. She is a member of the Queensland Environmental Law Association and the Queensland Resources Council’s Environmental Committee.

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