Matthew Austin

Matthew Austin

Matthew Austin is a partner in the Brisbane office of King & Wood Mallesons where he specialises in environment, planning and resources law. Matthew leads the Brisbane environment and planning team and is a key member of the firm's climate change and sustainability practice teams.

Matthew provides specialist advice on the operation of various state and federal environment and planning assessment and approvals processes. He advises on environmental enforcement and compliance, contaminated land, native title, cultural heritage, vegetation, water and other natural resources matters.

Matthew acts for a range of clients on development, infrastructure and mining projects. He advises on major project approvals processes and other project facilitation options, as well as acting for clients on environment and planning disputes, compensation and land acquisition claims.

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Recent Matters

  • Maroochydore CBD project: advice to Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral Pty Ltd on planning, infrastructure and development issues arising under the PDA development scheme for the new Maroochydore CBD project
  • Advised Aluminium Corporation of China Ltd (CHALCO) on environmental assessment, approval and tenure requirements for the proposed Aurukun bauxite mine, port facility and Bowen aluminium refinery
  • Advised BG Group on environmental, petroleum, native title and cultural heritage issues associated with its acquisition of an interest in Queensland Gas Company
  • Regulatory approval and environmental assessment requirements associated with the proposed $8+ billion QCLNG project, including upstream, pipeline and LNG production components
  • Advised BHP Billiton on environment and tenure requirements for new coal mines, expansions and associated infrastructure including the $2.5 billion purchase of New Saraji Coal Project from New Hope, development of the Red Mountain Joint Venture with Peabody and the proposed Daunia Coal Mine
  • BHP Billiton - advice on greenhouse and energy efficiency reporting requirements for Queensland coal and infrastructure assets, including advice on the application of key terms under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act
  • Advised the successful consortium for the North-South Bypass Tunnel under the Brisbane River on approvals and regulatory issues including land acquisition, native title and cultural heritage matters
  • Gladstone Port Corporation - advice on the environmental approval requirements and native title processes for the development of the proposed Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal
  • Lion Nathan - advised the XXXX Milton Brewery on a range of planning and development matters, providing strategic legal advice on options to protect the long term operation of the brewery from encroaching development
  • Advised Stockland on the successful $846 million bid for the assets of Lensworth, coordinating environment and planning due diligence and advising on various planning, environmental, heritage and infrastructure matters
  • Acted for the Learning Works Partnership consortium on its bid for the South East Queensland Schools PPP project, advising on environment and planning approval requirements, including the application of the community infrastructure designation provisions under the Integrated Planning Act
  • Advised Telstra on Schedule 3 powers and immunities and on various matters involving the application of Queensland environment and planning laws to telecommunication infrastructure
  • Woolworths Ltd - ran a number of Planning and Environment Court legal challenges to the lawfulness of operations conducted by trade competitors
  • Advised Xstrata on approval processes and regulatory matters under Territory and Federal environmental laws regarding the expansion of the MacArthur River Mine (NT).


  • Queensland Environmental Law Association
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Queensland Law Society Inc.


  • 1994: Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science, Australian National University
  • 1995: Project Officer, Office of the Environment, ACT Government
  • 1996 - 1997: Articled Clerk, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane
  • 1998: Solicitor, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane
  • 1998 - 2002: Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Brisbane
  • 2002 - 2007: Senior Associate, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Brisbane
  • 2008 - 2009: Special Counsel, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Brisbane
  • 2010 - 2012: Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Brisbane
  • 2012: Partner, King & Wood Mallesons, Brisbane.


Legal insights

Nearly 14 years ago, New Acland Coal Pty Ltd (NAC) applied for a ‘stage 3 expansion’ of its coal mining operations near Oakey in Queensland by seeking two further mining leases and an amendment of...

08 February 2021

Waratah Coal has made an application in the Queensland Land Court to strike out a number of objections to its Galilee Coal Project.

15 September 2020

As discussed in our previous updates in July, October and November 2020, the one-in-ten-year review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) is currently...

01 September 2020

Today, the Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) was released setting out preliminary views of the...

20 July 2020

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