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Michael Bidwell

Solicitor

Michael is a Solicitor specialising in planning and environment law.

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Experience

Michael is a Solicitor specialising in planning and environmental law. Michael has worked for a range of clients including State and local governments, property developers, infrastructure and energy providers, and renewable and non-renewable resource providers.

Michael has provided significant front end strategic advice to clients as well as all forms of back-end litigation. This has included prosecuting and defending environmental offences, defending development approvals from appeals lodged by third party submitters, acting for third party submitters to challenge development approvals obtained by competing entities, prosecuting and defending planning offences, and defending or challenging appeals against infrastructure charges.  Michael’s diversity of litigation experience assists with better understanding how the Court will interpret environmental and planning legislation. This often assists with providing strategic front-end advice.   

Michael co-founded the Queensland Law Society Diverse Abilities Network, assists the Queensland Environmental Law Association with events and sits on the Herbert Smith Freehills LGBTIQ+ and Diversity committees. 

Michael’s experience includes:

  • Acting on behalf of juwi in relation to a Planning and Environment Court appeal against refusal for the Chances Plain Solar Farm convincing the local government to consent to a final Order by the Court that granted the development approval subject to conditions.
  • Acting for Mirvac in relation to an originating application in the Planning and Environment Court seeking relief to set aside a development approval obtained by a competing shopping centre entity. The Court will hear this matter later this year
  • Advising a Church entity in relation to a response to a Show Cause Notice alleging non-compliance with development conditions and assisting the project manager with engaging relevant consultants.
  • Acting for the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning with primary carriage of several planning appeals that involve a State interest (e.g. State-controlled transport, protected vegetation and protected fauna) gaining insight into how the State pursues these types of appeals.
  • Advising RES in relation to environment and planning matters for the Dulacca Wind Farm. Michael has also worked with Luke Simpson to prepare and finalise several property documents and property matters.
  • Advising RES in relation to environment and planning matters for the Iron Leaf Wind Farm. Michael has also worked with Luke Simpson to prepare and finalise several property documents and property matters.
  • Advising Edify Energy in relation to a development application for material change of use  for a Battery Storage, Green hydrogen and Solar Energy Facility with Townsville City Council.
  • Advising Forest Wind on all planning and environmental approvals requirements in relation to its 1GW wind farm in a Queensland State Forest.
  • Acting for MUFG, ANZ and SMBC in relation to planning and environmental issues for the 100MW Lilyvale Solar Farm.
  • Advising EDF Renewables in relation to environment and planning matters for the Banana Range Wind Farm. Michael has also worked with Luke Simpson to prepare and finalise several property documents and property matters.
  • Acting for Charter Hall and John Holland: Primary carriage of an originating application in the Planning and Environment Court seeking relief to extend a lapsed development approval. Through ‘without prejudice’ discussions, Michael convinced the local government to consent to a final Order by the Court that excused the non-compliance and allowed our clients to lodge an extension application with the local government to extend the development approval by four years.
  • Acting for Freshmax: Primary carriage of an appeal against an enforcement notice alleging unlawful use. The Court set aside the enforcement notice on the basis that a development application was lodged. Michael has also provided strategic planning advice during the development application process.
  • Acting for Department of Education and Science with secondary carriage of several proceedings in relation to Linc Energy’s underground coal gasification site.
  • Acting for CST Minerals Lady Annie in relation to financial assurance for several proceedings.
  • Providing strategic advice to a national seafood processor through the engagement of environmental consultants to consolidate unlawful operations with lawful operations that resulted in confirming that no new or amended environmental authority would be required

 

Background

Michael holds a Bachelor of Law and a  Bachelor of Science (Environment).

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