Coastal and Crown land

Water frontage and agricultural licences

  • Advice regarding water frontage licence conditions on riparian land – s 130 Land Act 1958 (Vic) and liaison with relevant public land manager.
  • Advice regarding riparian Crown allotments subject to permanent reservation for public purposes under the Land Act 1869 (Vic) and rectified as part of the Rivers and Streams Project.
  • Easements applying to Crown waterways.

Coastal development

  • Analysis of a coastal development site comprising a complex multiplicity of Crown and government authority ownership, ascertaining ownership boundaries and inter-related public purposes and assessing consequential land use constraints and related VCAT application Baker v Surf Coast SC [2022] VCAT 257.
  • Advice to owners on complex highly sensitive ocean frontage dune country as to grazing, fencing, access, Indigenous cultural heritage in context of proposed re-subdivision and internal redevelopment.
  • Strategic advice to coastal Crown land licensee impacted by drainage proximate to licensed land involving multiple authorities and OHS risks.
  • Advice to coastal stakeholders regarding update to municipal coastal policy and review of coastal Committees of Management, distinguishing management functions under the Crown Land Reserve Act 1978 (Vic) from those under the Local Government Acts.
  • Advice regarding objection to liquor licence application by commercial operator on Crown land.
  • Review of public trust doctrine as to public duty of care to public coastal assets and considering context of projected 2100 sea-level rises.
  • VCAT merits review application as to proposed temporary non-conservation land use on land permanently reserved for “conservation purposes”.
  • Cases related to and testing the ‘associated with the public land’ requirement of VPPs (in full).
  • Related liquor license considerations.


  • Supreme Court review of annual service charge to rateable coastal land for which there was no direct or kerbside refuse collection service.


  • Rights related to unused road under licence and under s 402, Land Act 1958 (Vic) and interaction with Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) and Road Management Act 2004 (Vic).
  • Open stormwater drainage release across coastal Crown land, including health and safety issues.

Public acquisition and compensation

  • Successful negotiation and litigation of (at the time), the largest ever claim against a road authority.
  • Extensive and complex negotiations leading to avoidance of a substantial compensation claim by means of a planning scheme amendment supportive of a development consistent with proposed public purposes.
  • Submissions to Planning Panels concerning the alignment of public purpose overlay’s boundaries with creek and river boundaries and taking account of watercourse alignment changes over time.
  • Advice regarding uses available in the context of a Public Acquisition Overlay boundary.
  • Successful major negotiations regarding early acquisition and term of same including agreed adjustment.
  • Advice regarding financial loss resulting from removing a Public Acquisition Overlay reservation.
  • Encroachment of adjoining building onto Crown land and resurvey with section 271 Property Law Act 1958 (Vic).


  • Connections between coastal planning controls and land permanently reserved for protection of the coastline.
  • Analysis and advice as to whether a tenant conducts a use “on behalf of” the public authority lessor.
  • Advice regarding potential use and development of landlocked bushland allotment, adjoining and accessed via Crown land.

Cultural heritage

  • Indigenous and post-settlement cultural heritage in respect of coastal, riparian and other Crown land, necessary approvals, and consultations.


  • Advice to the Authority in respect of Port Phillip Heads channel deepening project.
  • Advice to the Authorities for the Ports of Melbourne, Westernport and Portland, and in respect of Port Phillip and Westernport Bays, in relation to commercial shipping, transport, development, planning, ballast water procedures and conservation.


  • Transfer of boatshed licences and advice on associated due diligence contract and vendor disclosure.
  • Aligning State policy for future management of bathing boxes and boatsheds on Crown land with municipal strategic ‘Community Vision’ and ‘Coastal Strategy’ projects.
  • Advice on boatshed guidelines and construction standards to reinstate damaged bathing boxes and in respect of heritage bathing boxes and boatsheds.