Mr Paul Leadbeter

Mr Paul Leadbeter
 Position Senior Lecturer
 Org Unit Adelaide Law School
 Telephone +61 8 8313 4441
 Location Floor/Room 2 ,  Ligertwood ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Paul Leadbeter joined the Adelaide Law School in January 2010 as a Senior Lecturer. Prior to that he had been a partner in the Adelaide law firm, Norman Waterhouse where as a member of that firm's Environment and Planning team he had provided advice and representation to the firm's significant local government client base and private clients. Paul commenced legal practice at Stratford and Co in 1982. He moved from there to a position as the Legal Officer for the City of Tea Tree Gully and in late 1985 joined what was then the firm of Norman,Waterhouse and Mutton,  becoming a partner in 1988  where he remained until 1995 when he retired from the partnership and took up a position as Director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law and Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide Law School .He returned to private practice at the end of 1999 and rejoined Norman Waterhouse as a partner in 2001. During his time in practice Paul undertook considerable advocacy work in the Planning Appeal Tribunal and its replacement (after 1993), the Environment, Resources and Development Court. He was also the solicitor responsible for managing many appellate matters in the Supreme Court of South Australia and on a number of occasions, the High Court of Australia.

    Paul teaches in the areas of environmental law, planning law, administrative law and domestic arbitration law and has research interests in environmental and land use planning law,water law,cultural heritage law and public law( particularly as it affects the roles, responsibilities and governance arrangements for local government authorities).

  • Qualifications

    LLM, (Adelaide), 1992

    Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, SAIT(now UniSA), 1982

    LLB (Hons), University of Adelaide, 1981

    Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of Australia & the Supreme Court of South Australia

  • Teaching Interests

    Environmental Law

    Land use planning law

    Administrative law

    Domestic Arbitration law



  • Research Interests

    Environmental Law with a particular focus on law and policy for biodiversity conservation and protection, the protection and conservation of cultural heritage, pollution control and site contamination and the environmental regulation of the mining industry

    Land-use planning law and policy

    Water law

    Public law particularly from the perspective of the role and responsibilities of local government authorities and associated entities.


  • Publications

    Editorial Positions
    Local Government Law Journal – State Editor for South Australia -1998 to present
    Planning Law in Australia - (State Editor 2006 to Present) Responsible for contributions to and updating of Chapter 4 (South Australia -Planning System) ,Chapter 12 (South Australia- Judicial Systems.)


    "Law as Change: Essays in Honour of Adrian Bradbrook" ( edited with Paul Babie),University of Adelaide Press,2015

    “Environmental Outlook No 3 – Law & Policy” (edited with Neil Gunningham and Ben Boer, The Federation Press, Sydney, 1999)

    Chapters in Books

    "Controls on urban tree removal in South Australia - an example of restricting property rights for the greater community benefit" chapter in Paul Babie and Paul Leadbeter (eds.)"Law as Change: Essays in Honour of Adrian Bradbrook" University of Adelaide Press, 2015

    "Environmental law -South Australia" Chapter 26N in "Planning Law in Australia" Glen McLeod (editor) Thomson Lawbook Co (Published June 2011)
    “Recent Trends & Developments in South Australian Environmental Law” chapter 11 in "Environmental Outlook No 3 – Law & policy", Leadbeter, Gunningham, Boer (eds), The Federation Press, 1999


    "Observations on the Report of the South Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Biodiversity"92017) 32(7), 176-180

    "Community Engagement Charters: South Australia's proposal to change the approach to community involvement in land use planning" (2017) 34 EPLJ 1

    "Deepwater Drilling off the coast of South Australia: Liability for offshore Oil and Gas Pollution" ( article co-authored with Dr Alexandra Wawryk ) (2016) 33 EPLJ 555

    "Case Note: Hoff v City of Mitcham [2016] SASCFC3 (2016)21 LGLJ 68

    "Into the Wild: Improving law student knowledge and understanding through experiential field trips" (2016) 41(2) AltLJ 125

    "Legal Protection of Urban Trees: An Essential Measure to assist in the Reduction of the Urban Heat Island Effect" (2014) 17 AJNRL&P 75

    Planning Reform in South Australia-some possible impacts for local government" (2014) 19 LGLJ 142

    "Controls on urban tree removal in South Australia - an example of restricting property rights for the greater community benefit" chapter in Paul babie and Paul Leadbeter(eds.) "Law as Change: Essays in Honour of Adrian Bradbrook" (University of Adelaide Press, 2015)

    "Adaptive Reuse of Heritage buildings- do current planning and heriatge controls support the concept?" (2013) 30 EPLJ 491

    "Is the Fox Still Guarding the Henhouse? Mining and Environmental Protection in South Australia" (Article co-authored with Dr Alexandra Wawryk) (2013) 30 EPLJ 3

    Site Contamination requirements under the South Australian Environment Protection Act,1993- an analysis of their nature and effect" (2013) 30 EPLJ 106

    "Streamlining development assessment processes-Is South Australia's new Residential Code for Development the answer?" (2010)15 Local Government Law Journal 144-154

    “Codes of conduct for development assessment decision-makers in South Australia” (2007) 13 Local Government Law Journal 1

    “Development Assessment and decision-making in South Australia- Recent curtailment of the role of local councils” (2007) 12 Local Government Law Journal  1-9

    “Proposed Development Assessment Panels in South Australia-Improving the impartiality of development assessment decisions (2005) 11 Local Government Law Journal  17-25

    “Changes to natural resources management law in South Australia and its impact on local government” (2005) 10 Local Government Law Journal  144-157

    “Site Contamination and the Planning Process in South Australia” (2002) 8 Local Government Law Journal  14-23

    “EPA  Lackey or Equal Partner? Local Government’s Role under the South Australian Environment Protection Act” (2001) 6 Local Government Law Journal 155.

    “Heritage Controls and Local Government – A South Australian Perspective” (1999)  5 Local Government Law Journal  55-65

    “Cat Controls for Wildlife Protection – Is There a Role for Local Government”. (1998) 4 Local Government Law Journal 215

    “A Revised Planning Strategy for Metropolitan Adelaide – Implications for Local Government”, (1997) 3 Local Government Law Journal  31-36

    “The Impact of the Environment Protection Act, 1993 (SA) on Local Government in South Australia.”  (1996) Local Government Law Journal  137-153

    "Much Ado for Nothing - A critique of the South Australian Development Act, 1993." 1994 19(4) Alternative Law Journal 156 -160

    “The Potential for Criminal Proceedings Under the Environment Protection Act, 1993 (SA).”  1996 (1) Australian Environmental Law News  36 (p36-45)

    “Developing a Marine Conservation Strategy for South Australia’s Marine and Coastal Environment - How can the Community‘s Interest and Participation in that Process be Achieved?” 1996 Australian Environmental Law News 41 (p41-47).

    “Enforcement of Pollution Laws in Australia – Past Experience and Current Trends” (with Maria P Comino) paper presented (by Maria P Comino) at and published in proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement 16-20 November 1998, Monterey, California, USA

    Public lectures,Conference and Seminar Presentations

    Presentation on "Water Law and Policy Developments"at Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia National Conference, Adelaide SA, 20 May 2010

    Presentation on "Planning for Biodiversity: A critical analysis of biodiversity and planning law in South Australia"at the "Biodiversity and the Law: Building Blocks for Life" one day seminar held Adelaide SA ,3 May 2010

    Paper presented on "Site contamination requirements under the Environment Protection Act 1993-What are they and what will be their effect?"as part of The Law Society of South Australia's Continuing Professional development Seminar series on 3 March 2010.

    Presentations on "Legal liability and Planning Implications of Climate Change for Local Government authorities" to Climate change and Local Government Seminars conducted by Local Government Association of South Australia on 31 March 2009, 7 September 2009(Renmark), 2 November 2009(Naracoorte) and 12 November 2009(Hawker)

    Presentation to Environment Resources and Development Court Judges and Commissioners on “ Climate Change and its Implications for Planning Law”,Update Day, Adelaide, 14 November 2008.

    Presentation on “Climate change and the Law from a Local government Perspective” to Local Government Managers Association-Emerging leaders Program, The Watershed, Salisbury , 7 November 2008.

    “Development raising Natural Resource Management Issues-What is the role of the Planning Authority when undertaking development assessment?”-Paper presented to SA Local Government Planners NRM Forum –Mannum, SA 19 September 2008.

    Federal government Policy on Emissions Trading-A Review of Current Federal Government directions and the Implications for Organisations” –Paper presented to 8th National University Finance Procurement Conference, 21-23 July 2008, Cairns, Queensland.

    The Federal Water Act: What does it mean for South Australia?-paper presented at the conference “Saving the last drop: Water Scarcity and the Law”-Convened by EDO(SA) and Centre for Environmental Management and Compliance(UniSA) 13 March 2008

    Presentation on “ Climate Change Issues as a Factor in decision making-some recent court decisions”-Planning Institute of Australia(SA Division) Planning Forum-Adelaide 12 September 2008 
    “Climate Change and Greenhouse Issues-Some Legal aspects”-paper presented to Law Society of South Australia “Environmental Law Update Seminar” held Adelaide  17 August 2007.

    “The Game is Changing-What Might Climate Change Mean for Local Government?” joint paper presentation with Pierina Reina to Norman Waterhouse, Lawyers Local Government Residential Seminar on 3  August 2007 at West Lakes Resort, S.A.

    Presentation on “The Future of Water Regulation Within the Murray-Darling Basin-Planning Implications” presented at seminar on Water law and the Constitution conducted by the Australian Association of Constitutional Law at the Law School, University of Adelaide on 10 May 2007.

    “Council /Landowner liability for Roadside Vegetation”, paper presented to The Law Society of South Australia Country Update Seminar held at Auchendorroch House, Mount Barker, SA, 27 October 2006 (12pp)

    Presentation on “Possible Legal mechanisms for Protecting Vegetation Planted as part of Carbon Biosequestration Projects” given at Emissions Trading Seminar conducted by the University of Adelaide  at the Adelaide Wine Centre on 25 October 2006.

    Presentation on “Legal Implications of Managing Drought” given at Seminar on Drought conducted by Planning Institute of Australia (SA division) at Grosvenor Hotel, Adelaide on 15 December 2006

    “Liability of officers for Corporate Environmental offences-under the Environment Protection Act 1993”-paper presented to Local government residential seminar conducted by Norman Waterhouse, Solicitors, Victor Harbor,18 August,2006(12pp)

     “A South Australian Approach to Planning” Paper presented at National Environmental Law Association National conference, Rydges Lakeside Hotel, Canberra on 13-15 July 2005.(24pp)

    Presentation (with Emmalene Gottwald) on “Plans and Levies as Management Tools under the Natural Resource Management Act” at Environmental Defenders Office Seminar on Natural Resource Management Act held 7 July 2005 at the City West Campus of the University of South Australia.

    “Changes to Natural Resource Management in South Australia and their Impact on Local Government” paper delivered at Local Government Residential Seminar conducted by Norman Waterhouse, Lawyers on 20-21 August 2004.(34pp)

    “Definition of a Legal Nuisance – Legal Aspects of Complaint Management” – paper delivered to National Urban Animal Management Conference held 18-20 August 2004 at Radisson Playford Hotel, Adelaide (12pp.)

    “Cracking of Older Masonry and Brickwork – Common Legal Issues” paper delivered at South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage, Heritage Conservation Seminar held 14 May 2004 at Adelaide. (20pp)

    Presentation on “Sustainable Development Bill” for Local Government at seminar organised by Norman Waterhouse, Lawyers in the Payneham Town Hall held 15 April 2004.

    Presentation on “Site Contamination and the Planning Process in South Australia” for a seminar organised by URS Australia Pty Ltd at Adelaide held 30 July 2003.

    “Perils and Pitfalls in Preparing Planning Policy – Observations on the Development Plan Amendment Process” paper presented to Local Government Residential Seminar conducted by Norman Waterhouse, Solicitors, Victor Harbor, 23-24 August 2002 ( 19pp).

    “Icky, Sticky and Dangerous – Contaminated Land: Local Government’s Responsibility” – paper delivered to Local Government Residential Seminar conducted by Norman Waterhouse, Lawyers, August 2001.

    Paper on “Liability of Directors and Managers of Body Corporates under Environmental Legislation” delivered at Legal and Accounting Seminar, “Environmental Crime” held at Adelaide 24 October 2000.

    Paper on “Some Observations on Recent Water Resources cases and Legislative Change” delivered at “Water and the Law” joint conference conducted by National Environmental Law Association and The Hydrological Society of South Australia Inc. held 18 October 2000, Adelaide.

    Paper on “Legal Issues in Environmental Consulting” delivered at Best Practice Environmental Seminar conducted by the Environment Institute if Australia (SA Division) at Adelaide on 14 November 2000.

    “EPA Lackey or Equal Partner? – Local Government’s Role under the Environment Protection Act 1993” paper presented to Local Government Residential Seminar conducted by Norman Waterhouse, Lawyers at Victor Harbor, 23 August 2000.

    Annual Case Law update – Paper presented at Planning Education Foundation Seminar, “Planning, the Law and the ERD Court”, Adelaide 20 August 1999

    Monitoring and Enforcement of Pollution Laws in Australia - Past Experience and Future Directions (with Maria P Comino).  Paper jointly presented at Pollution Control ’97 Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, November, 1997.

    Recent Trends and Developments in South Australian Environmental Law.  Paper presented at ACEL Environmental Outlook Conference 9-10 October, 1997, Sydney.

    The General Environmental Duty - What is it, to whom does it apply and can you insure against the consequences of a breach of it?  Paper presented to Breakfast Briefing Australian Insurance Law Association (SA Division) 21 March 1997, Adelaide.

    Environmental Dispute Resolution - An Australian Perspective.  Paper presented at a Workshop on Environmental Dispute Resolution at the Australia-India Legal Conference, held 26-27 October 1996, New Delhi, India.

    The Politics of Ethics - Loyalty to the Environment and/or Client.  Paper presented at the National Conference of the Environment Institute of Australia, held 14-16 October 1996, Adelaide.

    A New Era in Environmental Protection Mechanisms?  - Some Observations on the SA Environment Protection Act 1993.  Paper presented as part of Adelaide University Law School’s Continuing Legal Education Program, 10 August 1996.

    Will IDAS Improve the Environmental Quality of Development?  Paper presented to the NELA National Conference “Courting the Environment” held 8-12 May 1996, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

    Stakeholders Concerns and Perceptions:  Community Interests and Participation in the Development of a Marine Conservation Strategy for South Australia.  Paper presented to “The Unique South - Developing a Marine Conservation Strategy for South Australia’s Marine and Coastal Environment” Conference held, Adelaide, 4-5 May 1996.

    NELA Conference, Sydney, September 1995  Presentation on "The Establishment and Operation of the Environmental Law Community Advisory Service (SA) Inc."

    Paper on "Some Current Issues under the Development Control System" delivered at Norman Waterhouse Residential Seminar, August 1995.

    25 July 1995 - Paper on "The Potential for Criminal Proceedings under the ‘Environment Protection Act 1993," presented at ACEL/Graduate School of Management Seminar “Environment Protection - New Environmental Responsibilities for Managers, Directors and Business”.

    Winter Planning Seminar - Presentation on "The Links between the Development Act, 1993 and the proposed Environment Protection Act", 16 June 1994.

    Paper on "Legal Liability for Environmental Contamination" presented at 19th State Conference of Australian Institute of Environmental Health (SA Division) - May 11 - 13 1994.

    19 April 1994 - Paper on "Environment Protection Act - New or Expanded Activities - Authorisations and Appeal Rights" -Presented at Seminar on Environment Protection Act conducted by Australian Centre for Environmental Law (Adelaide).

    Paper on "The Development Act - Some of the Development Control Implications for Local Government "- delivered at Norman Waterhouse Residential Seminar - 6 & 7 August, 1993, Victor Harbor.

    "The Responsibilities of Councils under Current Environmental Laws "- Paper presented to Norman Waterhouse Residential Seminar, McLarens on the Lake, 16 August, 1991.

    Paper presented on "Protecting Local Heritage - Carrots or Sticks -the Legislative Aspects" - Local Heritage Seminar and Workshop, Prospect Town Hall, 19 March 1991.


    “Environment Protection Act 1993 – An Overview” – Presentation for “Electorate Officers and the Law Seminar” held 10 December 2002 for the Law Society of South Australia.

    Presentation on “Volunteers Protection Act 2001 – An Explanation” for Ethnic Schools Board Seminar held 2 September 2002.

    Presentation on the “Creation and Use of Car parking Funds under the Development Act” 1 June 2001

    SLAPP Suits - An Effective Deterrent to Public Participation on Environmental Issues?  Seminar presented at Mawson Centre for Environmental Studies,( The University of Adelaide) 1 June 1998.
    Environmental Law - A major concern for the Country Practitioner - Law Society of SA Country practitioners Group - Burra, SA 12 July 1991.

    Students Science and Sustainability Conference, Flinders University Sept 26-30 1995.  Workshop.  Presentation on Working in the Environmental Law Area.

    Presentation on Enforcing the Planning Act, 1982 presented to South Australian Environmental Law Association Berri Planning Seminar, May 1990.


  • Professional Associations

    Member, Law Society of South Australia
    Member, Law Council of Australia
    Member, National Environmental Law Association

  • Community Engagement

    2014-present: Legal Consultant-Hilditch Lawyers - Adelaide

    2017-present: Deputy Chair of Law Society of South Australia's Planning, Environment and Local Government Committee

    2017-present: Member of Tatiara Water Allocation Plan Stakeholder Advisory Group( representing Conservation Council of SA Inc.)
    2010-present: Member & Trustee, Public Fund Committee for Sunrise Children's Association Inc. Australia(Nepalese Orphanage)
    2006-present: South Australian Representative and Member of Law Council of Australia, Environment and Planning Committee 

    Training Roles

    2013-2016 Occasional one day training programs on the role and responsibilities of local council Development assessment Panels for elected local councillors and appointed members of Council development assessment panels for the local Government of South Australia Training Authority

    1-2 February 2011 Trainer and participant in India-Australia Workshop on Role of Specialist Environmental Law Courts for the resolution of Environmental Disputes organised by the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi in association with the Australia-India Institute. 

    August 2008 Trainer as subcontractor to Australian Marine Science and Technology Limited in AusAid IASTP Training Program Stage 3 on Environmental law and Enforcement in Kendari and Mataram, Indonesia.
    2000-2005 Trainer (as subcontractor to University of  South Australia) in AusAid IASTP Training Program Stage II Environmental Law and Enforcement in Makassar, Banjarmasin and Balikpapan, Manado and Kendari, Indonesia (Team Leader in Banjarmasin and Balikpapan)(Training involved information on environmental law and enforcement for Indonesian judges, court officials and government officials from Indonesian EPA –BAPEDAL)
    1999:  Training Program for EPA (SA) – Role and Responsibility of Authorised Officers under Environment Protection Act, 1993 and Water Resources Act, 1997.
    1999: Coordinator of Environment Protection Enforcement Certificate Course – a Week Long Training Program conducted by the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, in conjunction with the SA Environment Protection Authority
    1997: Coordinator and Main Presenter of Water Law Course as part of 12 week Indonesian United Water Training Program.
    1997:  Consultant to Environment Protection Authority (SA) on preparation of an Enforcement Policy for the EPA.
    1997:  Sub-consultant to AACM International on the Farm Forestry and Biodiversity Reconciliation Project commissioned by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.
    1996:  Presentation to Board and Senior Managers of SA Water on Legal Liability under Environmental Protection Legislation.
    1996:  Coordinator, ACEL ‘Defending the Environment Conference’, Adelaide, Sept 1996
    1995:  Training Coordinator, Environment Protection Authority (SA).  One day workshop on Relationship between Development Act, 1993 and Environment Protection Act, 1993 for Officers of EPA.  (Dec 1995).
    1995:  Training Coordinator, SA Water.  One half day workshop on Role and Responsibilities of Managers of SA Water under Environment Protection Act, 1993.  (Oct 95).

    1995:  Training Coordinator, Environment Protection Authority (SA).  One day Workshop on Parts 6 & 7 of Environment Protection Act, 1993 for officers of EPA. (Aug 95).

  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesEnvironment, Law, Crime & Justice
    ExpertiseLand use planning law; environmental protection law; heritage law; law dealing with local government authorities; water law, native vegetation laws
    NotesPresiding member, City of Burnside Development Assessment Panel(2010-2012); Member, SA Government Local Heritage Advisory Committee;Member SA Heritage Register Committee; Deputy Presiding Member, Veterinary Surgeons Board of SA;Vice President, Conservation Council of SA;State Editor for Local Government Law Journal and Planning Law in Australia
    Mobile0419 823 561
    After hours08 8272 7949

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Entry last updated: Tuesday, 29 Mar 2022

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