Fiona helps government and private sector clients develop, construct, operate and finance major infrastructure, with particular experience of advising on transport and energy projects. Fiona works closely with clients to develop and implement planning and environmental approvals and land assembly strategies for projects throughout Australia, and advises lenders on compliance with IFC Environmental & Social Performance Requirements for Australian and international projects.
In Australia, Fiona works closely with client and expert teams to prepare for regulatory approval processes, including, where necessary, representation before panels, courts and tribunals, and ensures that the environment approval and land access strategies align with the project's procurement and financing strategy. She is regularly requested by clients to work within their teams to share knowledge, and has co-located or been seconded to both government and private-sector clients, giving her valuable insights into the commercial and regulatory drivers for project development and delivery.
Fiona has represented government authorities on complex land compensation claims in both the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Fiona also assists clients with environmental due diligence and transactional advice, in particular advising on the regulatory and contamination risks associated with the financing, divestment or acquisition of infrastructure, mining and renewable energy projects.
Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel Project*
Fiona advised the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority on all aspects of environment, planning, land access and acquisition matters for the development of the Metro Tunnel Project. Fiona assisted the Authority to prepare the Environmental Effects Statement and instructed counsel at the Independent Assessment Committee hearing into the environmental effects of the project. In addition, Fiona's role included responsibility for the preparation of the land assembly and acquisition strategy for the Project and public law advice on the administration of the Authority.
Regional Rail Link Project*
Fiona advised the Regional Rail Link Authority on all aspects of the land assembly, and planning and environmental approvals for this $AUD4.1 billion project. Fiona assisted the Regional Rail Link Authority on a number of complex compensation claims associated with the Regional Rail Link Project, including engagement of experts and instructing counsel in the Supreme Court of Victoria, and was seconded to the Authority at various stages to assist with public law advice.
Western Distributor Project*
Fiona advised Transurban on the preparation of the Environmental Effects Statement and land assembly strategy for the Western Distributor Project.
Ichthys LNG Project*
Fiona advised the export credit agencies and financiers to the $US20billion Ichthys LNG Project on environmental and planning approval requirements under Western Australian, Northern Territory and Australian environmental law. In addition, Fiona's role included liaising with the Independent Environment & Social Consultant on its assessment of the environmental and social aspects of the Project and advising the lenders on compliance with the IFC Performance Standards.
Wind Energy Projects*
Fiona has advised Pacific Hydro on the development of wind farm projects in Victoria, including Portland Wind Energy Project, Crowlands and Yaloak South. Fiona has also advised financiers to a number of wind energy projects throughout Australia.
*Experience gained in a previous role.