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Annabel Viner

Special Counsel

Annabel is Special Counsel at the firm and practices in the Planning and Property team. Her area of focus is planning law and property development.

Annabel leads the planning practice within the Property and Planning Team at Burke & Associates Lawyers.

Annabel Viner

Special Counsel

Planning, Environment and Property Development Lawyer

Annabel leads the planning practice within the Property and Planning Team at Burke & Associates Lawyers. She has over 15 years’ experience in mid and top-tier commercial practices in Melbourne and Perth working in planning and environment, property, local government and commercial litigation teams. In addition, Annabel has worked in-house for a leading telecommunications company advising on land access, planning, environment, property and native title.

Annabel is a highly skilled senior lawyer with wide-ranging experience. Her area of focus is planning law and property development as well the environmental, heritage and associated regulatory regimes affecting the use and development of land.

Annabel’s practice extends to advising on general commercial, contract and property matters for a range of businesses, with a particular interest in advising property developers and medical and allied health professionals in establishing their practices.

Specifically, Annabel is skilled to undertake the following work and advice:

  • Due diligence (planning, environment, native title, cultural heritage) regarding proposed or existing developments in a range of sectors (including medical facilities, low and high rise residential and mixed-use developments, industrial developments, service stations, timber plantations and renewable energy - solar and wind farms)
  • Assisting clients in the approvals/permit process (planning, environment, heritage, other), including liaising with Councils and statutory authorities
  • Representing clients in applications to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), the Heritage Council and to the Supreme Court, Victoria (permit applicant appeals/reviews, objector appeals, applications seeking a declaration)
  • Drafting, reviewing, negotiating and registering land use agreements under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act (Vic) 1987 relating to a range of matters (bushfire management, restrictions on lots, wind farm development requirements, payment of developer and infrastructure contributions)
  • Statutory interpretation (particularly planning scheme controls)
  • Interpretation of restrictive covenants
  • Existing use rights
  • Public open space
  • Potentially contaminated land
  • Developer contributions under DCP’s, ICP’s and the GAIC regime
  • Amending planning permits, planning schemes and restrictive covenants
  • Land access under specific legislative regimes
  • Heritage issues arising under both local planning schemes and state legislation
  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
  • The operation of the Land, Acquisition and Compensation Act (Vic) 1986
  • Regulatory compliance (planning, environment, heritage, other legislation) and enforcement

Annabel's Approach - Insightful and co-operative legal advisor – planning and environment approvals and disputes – established and proposed developments:

Annabel has acted for individual and corporate private clients as well as Councils, government departments and statutory authorities. Annabel has demonstrated the ability to advise and represent her clients in a practical, insightful and strategic way with the necessary attention to detail required to navigate the complex legislative regimes affecting the existing and proposed use and development of land.

Annabel is passionate about the diverse issues arising in planning law affecting a range of industries and developments located in Melbourne metropolitan areas, the CBD and regional growth areas and urban centres.

She has been a member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA) since 2007.

Annabel is well regarded for developing great working relationships with her clients, as well as other stakeholders in any given matter, assisting in the cooperative progression of both transactional and litigious matters.

Outside of work Annabel loves caring for her school aged daughters, participating in their activities in Melbourne and enjoying the coast on the Mornington Peninsula and in and around Perth.

Career Highlights

Broad industry experience advising and representing clients in a number of Australian jurisdictions.

Some examples of the breadth of recent work in Annabel’s career includes:

  • Advising developers and financiers of renewable energy projects in a number of regional areas of Victoria during the growth phase of the projects in Australia.
  • Representing the Minister for Planning in VCAT proceedings brought by developers in the Fishermans Bend precinct, as well as proceedings ultimately brought in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration on the Minister’s power under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act (Vic) 1988 to “call in” proceedings before VCAT. Successful outcome validating the exercise of the Minister’s power (See Hudson Yards Pty Ltd v Minister for Planning [2018] VSC 272).
  • Representing a regional Council client in VCAT proceedings brought by the developer of a residential estate under section 36 of the Subdivision Act (Vic) 1988 seeking to compulsorily acquire adjacent private land in order to provide road access to the estate. Outcome successfully mediated at VCAT between Council and private land owners.
  • Drafting, negotiating and finalising a large volume of s173 agreements providing for the payment of developer contributions and the provision of land and works in kind by developers to secure state and local infrastructure, during the phase of sustained regional growth and the implementation of Developer Contribution Plans as a result of the strategic planning for Victoria’s growth areas.
  • Due diligence for Milemaker Petroleum, the owner and operator of a number of service station sites, on planning, building and property matters resulting in the successful sale of Milemaker’s retail fuel business assets to Caltex and a takeover of the operation of 45 service stations in Victoria. Learn more here

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Murdoch University, WA)
  • Bachelor of Arts – Politics and French (University of Western Australia)

Admissions

  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court of Australia
  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia

Professional Memberships

  • Member Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA)
  • Member Law Institute Victoria (LIV)
  • Member Property Council of Australia (PCA), Victorian Division (employee of an organisation)
  • Past planning committee member Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), WA branch
  • Past executive committee member National Environmental Law Association (NELA), WA branch
  • Past member Law Society of Western Australia