Marina Dunstan

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Marina Dunstan - Senior Associate - Preston Law

Marina has a diverse range of legal experience spanning over 18 years working predominantly in criminal defence and local government.  Having previously worked for Cairns Regional Council for seven years, Marina gained great insight into the inner workings of local government and the regulatory functions of Council. It allowed her to understand the unique challenges that local governments are confronted with both from an operational, legislative, and community perspective.

Marina’s experience in local government spans across all aspects of the regulatory and compliance functions, including local laws and licensing, as well as State regulatory matters, such as planning, building, public health and environmental compliance, and extends to property tenure and leasing matters.

Since commencing with Preston Law in 2020, Marina has worked with a range of local government clients throughout Queensland, utilising her internal local government knowledge and experience when advising her clients from both a legal perspective and with local government operational and strategic considerations in mind.

Marina’s experience includes:

  • Reviewing and drafting new suites of Local Laws, including the provision of advice on proposed amendments and attendance at Councillor workshops.
  • Delivery of training for local government officers on general enforcement and evidentiary requirements, as well as powers of entry.
  • Regularly advising of powers of entry requirements for authorised persons pursuant to the Local Government Act, Local Laws, Planning Act, Building Act, Environmental Protection Act, and other associated legislation.
  • Advising on delegations, as well as drafting instruments of appointment for authorised persons, statutory notices and instruments of delegation.
  • Developing and reviewing procedures, templates, and statutory notices relating to development offences, local laws compliance, regulated dog declarations, and public health regulations.
  • Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating commercial and not-for-profit leases and other tenure agreements on behalf of Councils.
  • Provision of advice and assisting with the sale of land procedures for overdue rates and charges pursuant to the Local Government Regulation 2012.
  • Undertaking external reviews of administrative action complaints, as well as statutory internal reviews, providing detailed reasons for decisions.
  • Drafting tender documents and advising on tender considerations and procurement requirements for local government.


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