Profile of Jillian Button

Jillian Button

Partner and Head of Climate Change, BA LLB (Hons) LLM

About Jillian Button

Jillian specialises in climate change, ESG and planning and environment law. Her practice involves assisting clients in a range of sectors to navigate the transition to net zero emissions, integrate climate change risk management into governance and disclosure arrangements, and to navigate environmental and planning laws.

Jillian works primarily in the energy, finance, resources, transport, waste, water, urban development and industrial sectors.

Jillian assists proponents to secure approvals for major projects, particularly in the low emissions energy sector, by advising on strategic and statutory planning, native title, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, EPBC and land contamination remediation matters. Recently, her practice has expanded into the offshore wind sector.

Jillian's litigation practice extends to nuisance litigation, compulsory acquisition litigation, VCAT merits review and enforcement proceedings, and Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judicial review proceedings.

She also helps clients in a range of other sectors, primarily energy and manufacturing, to address any environmental issues that may arise. Generally these relate to planning issues, pollution incidents, contaminated land, industrial waste management and biodiversity/native vegetation.

A significant part of Jillian's practice involves assisting clients to navigate the net zero transition. Recently Jillian has helped clients to comply with emissions reporting legislation and the Safeguard Mechanism, negotiate contractual risk allocation in relation to carbon-related matters in major corporate transactions and gas sale contracts, establish large scale carbon farming arrangements, review and uplift climate governance and disclosure arrangements, reviewing climate change strategies, policies and disclosures (including annual reporting). Jillian also assists clients to manage the physical impact of climate change in infrastructure and planning processes.

Jillian's relevant experience includes:

  • Stockyard Hill Wind Farm – advising on planning and other regulatory matters for this project, the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.
  • Acciona – advising in relation to environment and planning issues at Waubra Wind Farm, Mortlake South Wind Farm, Mount Gellibrand Wind Farm and Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm.
  • Mirova – advising on planning and environmental aspects of investment in Golden Plains Wind Farm.
  • Snowy 2.0 – advising Snowy Hydro on native title and other approvals aspects of the Snowy 2.0 project.
  • Macquarie – advising on planning and environmental issues for Project Jardins: the development of a grid-firming utility scale battery at the former Hazelwood Power Station site.
  • West Coast Renewable Energy – advising on approvals for the Tasmania West Coast Energy Park at Whale Back Ridge in Tasmania.
  • John Laing – advising on the disposal of its portfolio of Australian renewable energy assets, including wind farms in Victoria and South Australia.
  • Victorian Government – advising in relation to the establishment of the offshore wind sector.
  • Ranger Uranium Mine – advising ERA in relation to regulatory and approvals aspects of the Ranger Uranium Mine project, in particular in connection with the closure and rehabilitation of the mine site and the future use of Jabiru township.
  • Development Victoria – advising on planning and environmental issues for greenfield development estates, including Aurora Estate, Officer, Riverwalk and Valley Lake.
  • Ford – advising in relation to environmental aspects of the disposal of its Broadmeadows and Geelong sites.
  • X-Elio – representing X-Elio before a planning panel convened to consider two planning permit applications in respect of utility scale solar projects in the Shepparton area called in by the Minister for Planning.
  • Newcrest – advising in relation to the proposed Wafi-Golpu gold mine in Papua New Guinea.
  • Yarra Valley Water – advising on site selection and land access matters for proposed new infrastructure in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
  • Melbourne Water – advising on a wide range of drainage matters in the context of strategic and statutory planning matters.
  • Spark Consortium – advising on environment, planning, Aboriginal heritage and native title aspects of its successful bid to deliver the North East Link Project on behalf of the Victorian Government.
  • Nestle – advising on partnership with Greening Australia to undertake large scale reforestation carbon farming project.
  • Terrawise – advising on establishment of arrangements with offtakers and landowners in connection with its carbon farming portfolio in Western Australia.
  • Various confidential clients – reviewing Climate Change Action Plans, undertaking climate governance gap analyses, delivering board and executive education in relation to climate governance and ESG issues, stress testing compliance with climate commitments, advising reviewing climate disclosures in bond offerings, half yearly reports, annual reports, TCFD reports, Carbon Disclosure Project reports and standalone sustainability reports.
  • Global Infrastructure Partners – advising on acquisition of 49% interest in Pluto 2 gas plant from Woodside. This role included complex due diligence and negotiations in relation to ongoing judicial review proceedings affecting the plant's key approvals, as well as risk allocation in relation to greenhouse gases.
  • Alinta – representing Loy Yang B operator in judicial review proceedings commenced by Environment Victoria seeking to quash the EPA's decision to amend the power station's operational air emissions limits. This is a key test case in Victoria in relation to the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2017 (Vic).