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Sian Thomas, Legal Director

Sian established Sian Thomas Lawyers to provide a personal, approachable and solution oriented legal practice in 2016.   Sian values supportive and respectful relationships and brings to Sian Thomas Lawyers a diverse and unique legal background.

Prior to the establishment of the practice, Sian worked for a major national firm acting for energy and resource clients and has also worked in-house at Origin, Energex and CS Energy.   In addition, she has worked in a policy development role for South East Queensland (SEQ) Council of Mayors during the SEQ water restructure, and in the not-for-profit legal sector where she conducted general litigation in a variety of contexts.

Sian’s experience includes:

Water

  • Local Management of Irrigation Assets:  Sian has supported Local Management Boards in St George, Theodore, Emerald and Eton with the transition of irrigation assets owned by SunWater to locally owned not for profit organisations.   Sian has negotiated transfer agreements with Government and supported the development of offer documents to assist customers to decide whether to support Local Management and take an interest in the local entity.
  • South East Queensland Water Restructure:   Acting in a policy capacity for the South East Queensland Local Government Council of Mayors during the 2010 water restructure.  The restructure resulted in the transfer of Council assets to new statutory bodies (Unity Water and Queensland Urban Utilities).   The role required wide consultation and negotiation with technical experts from each of the Local Governments to develop regulatory policy positions associated with the planning legislation and then advocating for those positions with the State.  Many of the regulatory changes developed through those forums have been incorporated into legislation.
  • Supporting water infrastructure business case development in Queensland.

Energy

  • Supporting Energetic Communities with the legal documentation associated with funding their their first community solar project on the Food Connect Shed.
  • Acting for new and emerging companies develop solar projects in Queensland.
  • Supporting Ergon Energy through their tender and procurement of long term renewable energy resulting in a power purchase agreement for the construction of the Mt Emerald Wind Farm in North Queensland.

Community

  • Acting for disability support services to provide general contracting advice and NDIS contract readiness
  • Acting, whilst solicitor at the Townsville Community Legal Service (TCLS), in a wide range of matters including consumer protection, social security legislation and appeals processes, neighbourhood matters and judicial review.  Work included appearances in the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, District Court and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Procurement Contracting

  • Acting in relation to a wide range of goods, services and consulting contracts.
  • Working with the Origin drilling business over an extended period to strategically consider their contracting models, develop templates and provide legal support for major procurement initiatives through tender to final contractual negotiation.

Resources (Mining and Petroleum)

  • Providing regulatory advice in relation to compliance with major legislation governing mining, oil and gas in Queensland.
  • Negotiating access and compensation agreements between resource entities and infrastructure providers (water, rail and main roads).

Business and Asset Sales

  • Acting in relation to the sale of various resource assets including mines, petroleum tenements and large family run service businesses supporting the resources industry.
  • Acting for an Indigenous Art Centre in a business sale which included the negotiation of a retail lease.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws 1999 (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Arts (South East Asian and Australian Indigenous History) (James Cook University, Townsville) 2000.  Admitted to practice: Supreme Court of Queensland (2002) and High Court of Australia (2008)