Before coming to the Bar, Tom was the In-house Solicitor at Moonee Valley City Council and the Manager for Properties and Legal Services. This unique position incorporated the roles of Manager Statutory Planning Enforcement, Manager Property Services and Municipal Building Surveyor.
Prior to becoming a solicitor, Tom worked as a Building Surveyor and Building Inspector in both the private and public sectors and has over 20 years experience with extensive knowledge in advising councils, developers, builders, landowners, objectors and statutory authorities.
Tom regularly appears before the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), the Building Appeals Board, the Building Practitioners Board (now Victorian Building Authority) and the Magistrates’ Court in a wide variety of town planning and building related matters.
Tom’s experience includes:
VCAT - Planning List
- Merits appeals for councils, objectors, developers and statutory authorities.
- Compulsory conferences.
- Declarations, injunctions and enforcement.
- Existing use rights.
- Removal / amendments to restrictive covenants and/or easements.
VCAT – Domestic Building List
- Hearings relating to domestic building disputes.
- Professional negligence claims involving building surveyors, building inspectors, engineers, architects and other building practitioners.
- Compulsory conferences / mediation.
VCAT - Review and Regulation List
- Review hearings / appeals relating to decisions made by the Building Practitioners' Board and/or the Victorian Building Authority.
Building Appeals Board
- Report and Consent (Res Code) reviews.
- Protection of adjoining property disputes.
- Review of Building Orders and/or Building Notices.
- Review relating to Occupancy Permits and/or Building Permits.
Building Practitioners Board (now known as Victorian Building Authority)
- Hearings relating to the professional conduct of building practitioners.
- Appearing for both the prosecution or defence in statutory criminal prosecutions under the Building Act 1993 and Planning and Environment Act 1987.
- Plea hearings including diversion programs for charges under the Building Act 1993; Planning and Environment Act 1987 and other related legislation.
Presenter / Lecturer
Tom regularly presents:
- Property Law Workshop and the Lawyers Skills (Advocacy) Workshop on behalf of Leo Cussen Centre of Law for trainee lawyers.
- A module of the Planning and Development Law subject as part of the Melbourne Law Masters at The University of Melbourne.
- Law subject as part of the Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering course at Victoria University.
Qualifications and Membership
Tom holds the following academic qualifications:
- Bachelor of Laws.
- Master of Applied Science (Development Legislative Management).
- Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying.
- Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
- Graduate Certificate in Performance Based Building and Fire Codes.
Ministerial Appointment as Legal Representative Member to the Building Advisory Council
- Tom was appointed by the Minister for Planning as the Legal Representative Member to the Building Advisory Council on 11 September 2012 for a term of three years and reappointed on 21 October 2015 for a further three years.
Member of Professional Associations
- Victorian Planning and Environment Law Association.
- Planning and Local Government Committee at the Law Institute of Victoria.
- Law Institute of Victoria.
- Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group.