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Local Government Property Spring Seminar & Webinar Series 2022

  • When: 28 October 2022
  • Time: 10:00AM - 11:15AM and 11:45AM – 1:00PM AEDT
  • Where: In person & Online via Zoom using your PC or mobile
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We invite you to join us for our Local Government Property Spring seminar & webinar series.

The role of Local Government within the property space continues to evolve through these unprecedented times.

The lawyers at Russell Kennedy would like to extend an invitation to the Local Government Property Spring seminar & webinar series, which will take place on Friday 21 and Friday 28 October 2022.

Each session will be presented by a group of Russell Kennedy’s expert local government lawyers. The seminars & webinars will provide Council officers with valuable knowledge that is integral to local government property transactions.

With each webinar session, we are providing the opportunity to submit your questions, before the webinar and during the webinar in our interactive Q&A format.

Click on a session below to read more and register:

Session 1 - Roads Revisited – Spotting the issues, getting the procedures right and protecting Councils against risk,
Friday 21 October 2022, 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM AEDT

In this webinar, our expert panel will provide an understanding of Council’s main obligations in respect of roads, how Council can deal with roads, and some pitfalls and issues to consider.

Roads continue to be a complex area, with various roles and responsibilities Councils must fill across the Local Government Acts 1989 and 2020, and Road Management Act 2004, including:

  • High level overview of Council’s role in owning, managing, or controlling roads.
  • What constitutes a “road”, a ‘public road’ and a ‘public highway.
  • The legal significance of these various categories of roads.
  • Processes and recommendations for Councils to follow when dealing with roads and road issues, with a focus on:
    • amendments the public roads register;
    • discontinuing roads.

Joining us will be members of our local government property team, Michael Dowling and William Reid.

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM AEDT 

Date: Friday 21 October 2022

Register for session 1 here
Session 2 Voluntary Acquisitions and Disposals of Interests in Land – A Local Government Perspective,
Friday 21 October 2022, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM AEDT

Councils have a range of responsibilities and powers when acquiring and/or disposing of interests in land, even in the voluntary context. This webinar looks at procedural matters Councils should be aware of, and some practical guidance on how Councils can approach certain transactions

  • A look at the legislative and policy frameworks that apply to the voluntary acquisitions and disposals of interests in land by Councils.
  • The different types of interests Council acquire or dispose of, and some of the common reasons behind those transactions.
  • A practical overview of how those transactions can go in practice, and some tools available to Councils to help.

A practical understanding of key considerations for Councils when acquiring or disposing of interests in land, and some paths Councils can explore to complete those transactions.

Joining us will be members of our local government property team, Shaun Burmester and Kathryn Bastounas.

Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM AEDT 

Date: Friday 21 October 2022

Register for session 2 here
Session 3 - Leasing tips and tricks – considerations for effective and compliant leases,
Friday 28 October 2022, 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM AEDT

This session explores the roles of Councils as landlords and tenants and considerations for Councils in the early stages of leasing transactions.

Join this interactive panel session to gain a greater understanding of key issues to be considered in the early stages of leasing transactions to reduce the risk of protracted negotiations and disputes and to ensure leases are effective, including:

  • Nature of lease v licence.
  • Recommended due diligence investigations for Councils.
  • Look at Retail Leases Act 2003 and Local Government Act 2020, and how those Acts interact with Council leases.
  • Key terms of leases from a Council perspective.

Joining us will be members of our local government property team, Emma Dunlevie, Samantha Taylor, and Janelle Oh.

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM AEDT

Date: Friday 28 October 2022

Register for session 3 here
Session 4 - Contaminated Land – Discharging statutory duties for public land,
Friday 28 October 2022, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM AEDT

Council, in management or control of contaminated land, have a statutory duty, compelling action, to identify, investigate, assess, mitigate and clean up the contamination and disclose information to affected persons. How the duty is discharged, in a constrained resource budget, and with multiple stakeholders, is complicated and requires a considered, risk based, strategy.

In this webinar we will look to explore:

  • Explanation of the duty to manage contaminated land.
  • Evaluation of local government liability for public land with multiple stakeholders.
  • Legal considerations to prepare a risk based strategy to discharge the duty.
  • Liability to eligible persons and case studies of regulatory intervention.

Joining us will be Stefan Fiedler from Russell Kennedy’s planning and environment team.

Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM AEDT

Date: Friday 28 October 2022

Register for session 4 here


In Person Details

Please join in our Melbourne office.

Level 12, 469 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Webinar Details

We are utilising Zoom to run these webinars. Zoom is free to download and can be viewed from your PC/mobile device. 

Attendees will be sent a link to log into the live webinar upon registration.

COST: These webinars are free to attend but bookings are essential as places are limited.

Register for the roadshow here


Michael Dowling

Michael Dowling

Special Counsel and Facilitator

Michael practices in the areas of property, local government, property development and subdivisions.

He is a specialist accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria in property law and has over 30 years’ experience in complex property matters, including a full range of legal services for medium to large scale property projects with particular expertise in the government and local government sectors. Michael has an emphasis on friendly, efficient and timely advice with practical outcomes for his clients.

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Emma Dunlevie

Emma Dunlevie


Emma’s practice covers all aspects of leasing and licensing transactions – retail, commercial and industrial. She acts for tenants, landlords, local government and state government authorities, as well as the not-for-profit sector.

Emma has extensive knowledge of retail leasing legislation in Victoria and other Australian states, and is experienced in handling tenancy disputes at mediation and VCAT. Emma is also Russell Kennedy’s Pro Bono Manager and leads our pro bono refugee law practice.

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Samantha Taylor

Samantha Taylor


Samantha has experience in a variety of commercial property transactions including sales and acquisitions and commercial leasing. Samantha advises both landlord and tenant clients in all aspects of leasing transactions, across all Australian jurisdictions. In addition to her leasing work, Samantha advises clients in respect of commercial sales and acquisitions, including preparing and reviewing transaction documents.

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Stefan Fiedler

Stefan Fiedler


Stefan is a leading environmental lawyer who acts for local government, water corporations, waste and resource recovery groups and corporations across various sectors including waste management, resource recovery, infrastructure, manufacturing, organics, rendering, logistics and agriculture.

His practice involves landfills, solid waste management, contaminated land and groundwater, EPA licensing and approvals, trade waste, reclaimed water, stormwater drainage and enforcement. Prior to practicing law, Stefan worked as an environmental engineer for the Environment Protection Authority.

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Shaun Burmester

Senior Associate

Shaun was previously a lawyer practising in the property and development sector in New Zealand before joining Russell Kennedy. Shaun’s experience is across a wide range of property matters, this includes commercial leasing, property development and local government property work. He focusses on providing clients pragmatic and effective advice, whilst working with them to achieve practical solutions.

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Janelle Oh

Janelle Oh


Janelle is an Associate in the firm’s Property and Development practice. Prior to joining Russell Kennedy, Janelle was a lawyer in a boutique practice representing landowners, boutique developers and non-bank lenders in a wide range of property transactions and property dispute matters at the Supreme and County Courts of Victoria.

Janelle’s well-rounded experience in property law enables her to assist clients in navigating sale and purchase transactions, leasing matters and property disputes with efficiency.

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Kathryn Bastounas


Kathryn has experience in a range of property transactions including complex acquisitions and disposals of land, legal due diligence, commercial and retail leasing and licencing agreements.

Kathryn focuses on providing pragmatic advice to clients to ensure they can achieve practical, commercial solutions.

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Event contact

P +61 3 9609 1555
For more information regarding this webinar please contact  our events team.