Local recruitment: Principal Legal Officer

Government of New South Wales

New South Wales, Australia 🇦🇺

Do you want your work to make a difference for NSW?

Together, we create thriving environments, communities and economies.

  • Temporary full-time and part-time opportunities available
  • Paramatta and regional NSW locations preferred
  • Salary relative to experience, and ranges from $132,395 to $154,181 (FTE) + super

Our Planning and Development Law and Water Law areas are currently seeking to appoint Principal Legal Officers to their teams.

In your role, you will be responsible for providing specialist legal services and advice to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Secretary, senior executives and staff of the Department to ensure priority legal service needs and objectives are met.

As the Principal Legal Officer you will be an instrumental senior member of the team within the Planning Environment and Resources Group within DPIE’s Legal & Governance Division. You will provide leadership and mentor staff through your demonstrated commitment to embedding a culture of professional development and driving proactive, high quality advice and services through education and continuous improvement initiatives.

In the Planning and Development Law team you will contribute to supporting the NSW planning framework providing concise and solutions focused legal advice on planning and development assessment matters. Responsibilities will include working on a variety of interesting projects, advising on major projects and collaborating with other legal teams across Legal and Governance Division on various related issues, to advise and facilitate government decision making within the planning system.

In the Water Law team you will contribute to the sustainable management of water resources, advise on cross jurisdictional issues involving the Commonwealth, work with DPIE Water and other water agencies on a variety of interesting projects and initiatives, and collaborate with other legal teams across Governance and Legal, as well as Parliamentary Counsel’s Office.  You will be responsible for providing legal advice and drafting legislative instruments.

About You

To be successful in this role you will have strong statutory interpretation skills and experience in providing concise and solutions-focused advice and working, often collaboratively, on projects in one or more of the following areas:

  • Water law
  • Planning and development assessment law
  • Natural Resources law
  • Administrative law or experience in the policy making and legislative process

You are confident in your ability to model strong leadership to inspire direction and delivery, develop people, and drive continuous improvement.

We are ideally looking for candidates with a strong background in, and expertise dealing with Water Law and/or Environmental Planning and Development Assessment matters.

Essential Requirements

  • Admitted or qualified for admission as a Solicitor or Barrister in the Supreme Court of NSW and hold or be eligible to hold a NSW Practicing Certificate.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, and interpersonal skills, to confidently engage with stakeholders to build and maintain collaborative relationships
  • High-level organisational skills and ability to prioritise and schedule work to ensure the delivery of objectives against conflicting deadlines
  • Experience leading, mentoring and supporting high performing teams.

For more information read the full Role Description: Principal Legal Officer

For more information hit Apply to visit the iworkfor.nsw.gov.au website.

About Us

The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment’s (DPIE) vision is to create thriving environments, communities and economies for the people of New South Wales. We strive to be a high-performing, world-class public service organisation that celebrates and reflects the full diversity of the community we serve and seeks to embed Aboriginal cultural awareness and knowledge throughout the department.

In our inclusive and accessible workplace, differences are embraced, contributions are valued, and everyone has a sense of connection and belonging. DPIE supports various employee affinity groups, practice flexible working, offer job share and workplace adjustments. We are committed to the Premier’s Priorities and welcome applications from all.

To Apply

If excited by the information above, we look forward to receiving your application, including a copy of your resume and cover letter expressing your interest and suitability for the role. DPIE expects all applicants who can be safely vaccinated for COVID-19, to be so.

Applications close 28 November 2021 at 11:55PM.

Should you require further information about the role please contact

A recruitment pool may be created for ongoing and temporary opportunities of the same role or role type that may become available over the next 18 months.

Looking for more information or assistance in applying?

Our Diversity team can assist to:

  • provide alternative formats to apply
  • make adjustments to the recruitment process
  • offer information about workplace adjustments and support networks

We encourage people with disability to apply. If you have disability and require more information on adjustments and assistance to apply, contact the Diversity team on [email protected]  (please include reference number).

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander check out Our Mob on Country https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/premiers-priorities/our-mob-on-country to see the work we do and get assistance in applying.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development