Brent Lillywhite




Brent has over 15 years’ experience providing strategic legal advice to developers, local government, state government authorities and government owned corporations on all aspects of planning and environment law.

His work includes planning due diligence, strategic advice on approvals frameworks, project management of development applications, drafting and negotiating infrastructure agreements and litigating decisions through the courts.

Brent's experience extends into land resumption, statutory valuation, planning scheme drafting, corporate governance and judicial review.

Brent is a Committee Member of the Queensland Law Society’s planning and environment group. He is President of the Queensland Environmental Law Association, and previously held roles including Vice President, Management Committee member, and various sub-committee appointments since 2010.

Key deals

Bayview Heights enforcement

Acted for Cairns Regional Council in seven separate court proceedings relating to unlawful operational work and building work for the erection of a large retaining wall on steeply-sloping landslide hazard land at Bayview Heights. With Cyclone Debbie forming in far-north Queensland, urgent enforcement proceedings were brought against the owners, resulting in an undertaking being provided and works ceasing. Ultimately, the matter included four P&E Court proceedings and three Magistrates Court prosecutions, resulting in enforcement orders, rehabilitation requirements, appropriate approvals being obtained and Council recovering costs from the owners.

Oakey PFAS contamination

Acting for Toowoomba Regional Council in relation to the PFAS contamination of groundwater at Oakey from the historical use of firefighting foams at the Army Aviation Centre Oakey. This includes Supreme Court proceedings against the Department of Defence for negligence, nuisance and breach of statutory duty causing damages associated with Council-owned water infrastructure (bores etc.) servicing the residents of Oakey.

The Avenues Highfields

Acted for Toowoomba Regional Council and successfully defended the first contested appeal against Council refusal of an infrastructure conversion application. Without the benefit of any legal precedent, this case involved a detailed analysis of the legislative provisions relating to conversion applications, and the development of new jurisprudence in an area of law previously untested. Complicating factors in the case included that the works had commenced (and were complete by the time of judgment), therefore obscuring Council’s abilities to impose ‘necessary infrastructure conditions’ for the roadworks if converted to trunk. The hearing of the appeal was supplemented by a separate declaratory proceeding brought by The Avenues. Council was successful in both proceedings.

Teak Lane Appeal (IVL and Lanrex)

Acted for Redland City Council in an appeal involving the redevelopment of a ‘green’ wildlife corridor into a carpark for a shopping centre at Victoria Point. With a number of complex ecological, CPTED and planning issues in the appeal, Council was ultimately successful in defending its refusal.