Rural, Regional, and Remote Legal Issues Australia

Navigate the critical legal issues across Australia in rural, regional, and remote communities. Unpack legal issues arising with succession planning and the impact of the Aged Care Bill on the dynamics of rural families with aging family members, hear updates on legal issues relating to carbon projects, land access, and wind farm development to equip yourself with knowledge for effectively advocating and supporting rural clients in 2024. Gain insights into addressing unique legal challenges specific to rural contexts, ensuring comprehensive legal support for rural communities, and understanding the issues being faced.

Friday, 7 June 2024
Early Bird Discount ends 10 May 2024 $353.50

Attend and earn 4 CPD units in Substantive Law
This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories

2.00pm to 2.45pm Managing Ageing, Longevity and Family Conflict


  • Impact of Aged Care Bill on family representation and support
  • New limits on the scope and function of attorneys and guardians
  • Supported Decision making: what is it and why should I care?
  • Role of lawyers in helping clients manage their longevity

Presented by Michael Perkins, Principal, Autonomy First Lawyers and Amber Geake, Associate, Autonomy First Lawyers

3.30pm to 3.45pm Afternoon Break
3.45pm to 4.30pm Land Access and Coexistence


  • Applying lessons learnt from land access from CSG projects to renewables
  • Landholder rights when conduct and compensation agreements are breached
  • The Environmental regulatory regime

Presented by Angela Hellewell, Barrister, Inns of Court

4.30pm to 5.15pm Wind Farm Proponents and Rural Land Access


  • Proponents contractual regime
  • Core issues: tenure, impact on agricultural activity, decommissioning
  • Value: compensation and green acres
  • Role of government

Presented by Phil Brunner, Director, Bailiwick Legal: Preeminent Agribusiness Lawyer, Doyle’s Guide 2023


Trent Thorne, Partner, Hamilton Locke; Best Lawyers 2024, Agriculture and Rural Affairs

1.00pm to 2.00pm Succession Planning for Rural Families: Key Considerations to Handing Over the Keys to the Family Farm


  • Estate planning strategies for farming families
  • Adult children: contributions, claims and compensation
  • Testamentary trusts: a solution or a problem?
  • Lessons from family provision claims, proprietary estoppel and other disputes
  • When is a deed of family arrangement the answer?

Presented by Frances Becker, Partner, Hamilton Locke and Jack Conway, Special Counsel, Hamilton Locke; Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates

2.45pm to 3.30pm Carbon Project Service Agreements and Sales Agreements: A Landholder Lawyer Perspective


  • The market overview: economic and environmental significance of carbon projects
  • Methods in carbon projects: reforestation, sequestration, verification
  • A case study: Queensland's titling challenges in carbon initiatives
  • Project services agreements in carbon projects: components and essentials
  • Forward selling insights: implications for landholders

Presented by Melanie Findlay, Managing Partner, Rees R & Sydney Jones Solicitors; Chair, QLS Energy and Resources Policy Committee; Member QLS Water and Agriculture Policy Committee


Jack Conway, Special Counsel, Hamilton Locke Private
Jack assists clients in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, trust and estate litigation, and administration and guardianship of persons with a disability. Jack has a special interest in navigating complex estate and trust issues, and is focused on giving clear, practical advice and offering sensible solutions for his clients. His clients include lay and professional executors and trustees, high net worth individuals, trustee companies, charities, lawyers and law firms, and everyday Australians. Jack is an Accredited Specialist in Wills & Estates (LIV), a full member of STEP, and a member of the Tax Institute. Jack has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide, and is a regular presenter to the legal profession and other professional and industry groups and has provided commentary for industry publications in his areas of expertise.

Melanie Findlay, Managing Partner, Rees R & Sydney Jones Solicitors
Melanie is Rees Jones’ Managing Partner and the head of Energy Environment and Agriculture division of the firm. She began her career as a lawyer at Rees R & Sydney Jones in 2006, became a Partner of the firm in 2010, and in 2020 became the first female Managing Partner of the Firm. Melanie takes great pride in representing the hardworking and resilient landowners in the Central Queensland region. She is the current Chair of the QLS Energy and Resources Policy Committee and she is a member of the QLS Water and Agriculture Policy Committee. Melanie has a particular interest in environmental markets. She is also passionate about contributing to the local community through fundraising efforts for drought-affected rural families and a Director of the Fitzroy Basin Association.

Michael Perkins, Principal, Autonomy First Lawyers
Michael is a lawyer, author, and educator with over 30 years’ experience in trusts, estates and private client practice. He is a strong supporter of Supported Decision Making as a method of client care in professional practice and dealing with the orderly management of a person’s longevity as they age. Michael helps resolve broader complexity and conflict in the lives of his clients, where possible without resort to litigation or other dispute resolution processes. This capability is born from Michael’s decades of knowledge of the law and deep understanding of how families need to operate to sustain themselves across generations. Michael helps clients deal with the practical, policy, strategic and operational needs of their wealth conservation, estate governance and administration and succession objectives.

Trent Thorne, Partner, Hamilton Locke
Trent has a passion for solving complex, multifaceted problems and leveraging his niche knowledge of the law to help achieve successful outcomes for clients. He is detail-orientated and takes a curious and innovative approach to his client representations. Trent has over 20 years of experience acting for clients across a range of industries including, food and agribusiness, regional and real estate. He has substantive experience advising on a variety of commercial matters including complex commercial disputes, financial, corporate and regulatory matters, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution and major pastoral property transactions. He is known for his commitment to the agricultural sector and extensive skills in alternative dispute resolution and has acted for major agribusiness entities, large property developers, multinational resource companies, major Government Owned Corporations and large corporate entities. Trent’s experience also includes seeking urgent interlocutory injunctions, defending and prosecuting class actions and resolving licensing and regulatory disputes. Known for his down to earth and pragmatic style, Trent is focused on providing practical and commercial advice to his clients. Trent is also a director on the boards of Beef Australia, AAM Investment Group and Rural Aid and prior to joining Hamilton Locke, Trent worked for McCullough Robertson and Ashurst.

Frances Becker, Partner, Hamilton Locke
Fran provides technically excellent, value-driven and commercially effective strategies and solutions for her clients and has practical experience in the private clients and agribusiness space, having grown up and been involved in the agribusiness industry all her life. She is a capable legal professional, known for her energy and enthusiasm in the workplace. Fran is an agribusiness and private client’s partner at Hamilton Locke. She is a trusted advisor to many privately owned businesses, families and high net worth individuals, advising on succession and business transition planning, complex estate planning, structuring and asset protection, and commercial, business and rural property transactions. Originally from Central Queensland, Fran with her husband now owns and runs a beef cattle enterprise in the Maranoa region, where she takes an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business and enjoys the reward of being a grazier, like many of her agribusiness clients. Prior to joining Hamilton Locke, Fran worked for Shand Taylor Lawyers and McCullough Robertson Lawyers.

Amber Geake, Associate, Autonomy First Lawyers
Amber Geake has been working in the legal sector since 2016, initially gaining experience in administrative and paralegal roles before being admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2020. A passionate advocate, Amber’s focus is on all matters dealing with estates, including succession planning, estate administration and estate litigation. She has substantial experience in contested estate litigation (family provision, contested probate, testamentary capacity and validity, protected persons and general equity matters) in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. She also has considerable experience in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, assisting clients within the Guardianship Division of the Tribunal. Her experience representing clients from all around New South Wales has allowed her to gain an understanding of different demographics and family dynamics. When she is not working, Amber enjoys playing sport and being outdoors. Amber is currently undertaking her Master of Applied Law (Wills and Estates) at the College of Law.

Angela Hellewell, Barrister, Inns of Court
Angela has a broad public, regulatory and commercial litigation practice. She advises and appears in a range of planning, environmental, construction, human rights, mining, family, property and land-related matters. Her experience has included appearances in courts and tribunals in both state and federal jurisdictions, as well as appearing as Counsel Assisting in an inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act. Angela has developed a significant practice in mining, energy and resources, and environmental law. She regularly appears in cases before the Land Court of Queensland and the Planning and Environment Court for mining proponents, statutory parties, and landholders. Angela has acted (led and unled) in resource compensation disputes, land access disputes and mining objections proceedings. She has experience in objections proceedings before the Land Court including appearing in the New Acland and Waratah Coal objection proceedings. She is a nationally accredited mediator, family dispute resolution practitioner (FDPR) and has been appointed to the Land Court ADR Panel as a Panel Mediator. Angela was admitted as a solicitor in 2007, and prior to being called to the Bar in 2017 was an in-house corporate lawyer for an energy company advising on regulatory approval, land access, environment and property. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting).

Phil Brunner, Director, Bailiwick Legal
With qualifications in both Business and Law, Phil uses his 30 + years of industry experience to advise clients across all fields of commercial operations including tourism, commercial law, and workplace relations. Recognised repeatedly as a “Leading Agribusiness Lawyer” by Doyle’s Guide, Phil is also a specialist in Agribuisiness, assisting clients with negotiation of access and compensation agreements, machinery disputes, contracts and trading, farm sales & leasing, farming succession and litigation matters. Having worked in both national and local law firms, Phil has appeared before Fair Work Australia, the Federal Court, and the State Courts. Phil is a member of the Law Society of Western Australia and a Director of the Prostate and Breast Cancer Foundation.


Rural, Regional, and Remote Legal Issues Australia


Afternoon Session
Friday, 7 June 2024
1.00pm to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 4
Early Bird Discount ends 10 May 2024 $353.50
Online 20240418 20240607


On Demand 20240418 20240607

Post Seminar Recording