Assistant Crown Solicitor
Ben was admitted as a solicitor in 1999 and has been involved in the provision of legal services in a government context for most of his career. He has held senior positions in both government and private legal practice, and is admitted to practice in Queensland and New South Wales.
- Providing advice and representation to various Queensland Government agencies and statutory bodies, including the Department of Resources, Queensland Treasury, the Office of Fair Trading, the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the Office of Industrial Relations and the Queensland Parole Board in relation to applications for statutory orders of review under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) commenced in the Supreme Court and on appeal.
- Providing advice to various Queensland government agencies including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Office of Industrial Relations, Arts Queensland, Queensland Treasury, the Queensland Audit Office and the Department of Environment and Science in relation to the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld), including drafting submissions to the Information Commissioner on external review.
- Providing advice and representation to the Valuer-General in relation to appeals under the Land Valuation Act 2010 (Qld) commenced in the Land Court.
- Providing advice and representation to the Minister administering the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW) in judicial review proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court and Court of Appeal involving challenges to the validity of water sharing plans made under that act.
- Representing the Minister for Immigration in merits and judicial review proceedings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Courts, respectively, often as solicitor advocate.
- Representing the Minister for Justice and Customs in judicial review proceedings regarding decisions taken under the Extradition Act 1988 (Cth).
Commissions of inquiry
- Representing the State of Queensland before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
- Representing the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (part of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) before the Commission of Inquiry into the August 2007 outbreak of equine influenza in Australia.
- Representing a senior executive government officer before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
- Representing a witness before the Australian Crime Commission.
Natural resources law
- Providing advice and representation to the responsible Minister, NSW Office of Water and the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation in a Local Land Board inquiry concerning the desirability of granting certain approvals to the Orange City Council in relation to the first stormwater harvesting scheme in Australia.
- Providing advice and representation to the NSW Office of Water in relation to a merits review challenge to the refusal of a licence application under the Water Act 1912 (NSW), including the potential impact of the proposed development on any threatened species, populations and ecological communities.
- Providing advice to the Minister administering the Crown Lands Act 1989 (NSW) in judicial review proceedings involving a challenge to a decision made under that Act to sell Crown land, including in relation to the potential impact that the development of the land would have on the environmental and conservational values of the area.
- Advising the responsible Minister and NSW Office of Water in various civil proceedings including merits review challenges against decisions made under legislation administered by the Minister.
- Advising the NSW Office of Water in relation to the grant of a pipeline licence under the Pipelines Act 1967 (NSW), for the Murrumbidgee to Googong water transfer project, including as to its terms and conditions associated with construction and operating safety, environmental protection and land remediation.
- Providing advice and representation to the Animal Welfare Unit, Biosecurity NSW in merits review proceedings in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal involving a challenge to a decision made under the Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW).
Regulatory prosecutions and compliance
- Advising the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas in relation to prosecution proceedings for offences under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 (NSW), and in relation to potential cancellation and suspension of licences granted under that Act.
- Advising the Minister administering the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW) in relation to prosecution proceedings for offences under that Act.
- Advising the responsible Minister and NSW Office of Water on compliance matters including potential prosecutions, enforcement and investigative powers, stop work orders and remedial directions.
- Advising the Mine Safety Unit of NSW Trade & Investment, Resources and Energy Division in relation to compliance and enforcement issues and potential prosecutions under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
- Advising the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing in relation to compliance and enforcement issues and potential prosecution proceedings for offences under its portfolio legislation including the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW), Gaming & Liquor Administration Act 2007 (NSW) and Gaming Machines Act 2001 (NSW).
- Advising the responsible Minister and NSW Office of Water in various civil proceedings including damages claims in connection with challenges against decisions made under legislation administered by the Minister and personal injuries claims.
- Successfully defending an action for damages in the NSW Supreme Court Common Law division on behalf of the former Murray-Darling Basin Commission and a number of former Commissioners.
- Prosecuting an action for breach of contract in the NSW District Court on behalf of the Commonwealth.
- Acting for leading financial institutions in debt recovery and insolvency proceedings.
- Representing a national insurance company in relation to public liability and motor vehicle property damage litigation.
- Acting for various individuals with intellectual disability.
- Acting for an individual plaintiff in proceedings involving allegations of serious sexual assault.
Training, papers and presentations
- Presenting sound decision making training workshops to various Queensland Government agencies.
- Providing legal updates, training and legal precedents to support the NSW Office of Water, including case notes, templates for statutory notices, authorisations and fact sheets.
- Presenting seminars on aspects of administrative decision-making practice to the Extradition and Mutual Assistance Branch of the Attorney-General’s Department and to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
- Presenting seminars on issues and developments relevant to migration and refugee law to the Litigation Branch of the Department of Immigration.