Dr Stubbs has provided expert evidence on the social and economic impacts of a range of development proposals in the NSW Supreme Court, NSW Land and Environment Court, NSW Liquor Administration Board, Victorian Supreme Court and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Dr Stubbs has particular expertise on matters related to affordable housing, boarding houses, backpackers’ accommodation, aged care and seniors living, and other sensitive land uses such as licensed premises, gaming venues and sex services premises.

JSA has been involved in a number of important cases that have further defined the nature of social impact assessment, the public interest and relevant methodologies.

Expert evidence of the social impacts of removing limits to trading hours of a licensed premises adjacent to PointsBet Stadium (Shark Park) prior to and following NRL Games

NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office

Dr Stubbs provided expert evidence to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) on the social impacts of removing limits to the trading hours of a Dan Murphy’s take-away liquor store adjacent to Shark Park, the home ground of the Cronulla Sharks National Rugby League (NRL) team.

The existing license to operate the Dan Murphy’s included a condition that there be no trade two hours before and two hours after a First Grade NRL game being played at the Stadium. Dan Murphy’s applied to the NCAT to appeal that decision of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and proposed that the condition be amended to remove limits on trading hours around game times. The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority sought to retain the condition but proposed to reduce the limits on trading around game times to 90 minutes before and after.

Dr Stubbs provided comprehensive evidence regarding the social impacts of removing the limits to trading hours around game times on the Stadium, League Club and immediate environs of the site and the impacts on the local neighbourhood and wider community. Her evidence was based on an extensive review of academic and other literature, analysis of secondary demographic and crime data, primary research and site observations at First Grade NRL games held at this and another stadium and an analysis of NSW Police’s Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) reports for the area before and after game times in recent years.

The Tribunal accepted Dr Stubbs’ evidence and agreed that the removal of limits to trading hours around game times is likely to lead to an increase in alcohol-related harm on game days and have a detrimental impact on the well-being of the local community. The Tribunal accepted the proposal of the Authority to maintain limits to trading before and after games to 90 minutes.

Scott-Mackenzie v Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority [2020] NSWCATAD 108

https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5e9ce626e4b0f66047ed8b1b

Expert evidence of the social impacts of the North East Link Project for the City of Manningham, Victoria

City of Manningham

Dr Stubbs recently provided expert evidence on the social impacts of the North East Link Project, specifically on the City of Manningham, to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee established to consider the environmental effects of the project and report to the Minister for Planning.

The North East Link Project is a freeway connection between the M80 Ring Road and Eastern Freeway that will provide a completed orbital connection around the city. The Project will affect the local government areas of Banyule, Boroondara, Manningham, Nillumbik, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Yarra; as well as the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area.

JSA was engaged to consider the social impacts of the Project on the City of Manningham in Melbourne’s northeast. Best practice in social impact assessment involves identifying the distribution of impacts.  Positive and negative impacts (costs and benefits) of an infrastructure project are often distributed differently across geographic areas and/or scales. The adverse impacts of projects are likely to be highly localised, whereas the positive impacts more widely experienced.

A comprehensive social impact assessment that considers differential impacts of a project, such as for local areas within Manningham LGA as well as the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area, is an important part of properly identifying negative impacts and determining whether those impacts can be avoided, appropriately mitigated wherever possible or properly compensated where mitigation is more problematic.

Tabled Documents – 29c. Manningham City Council – Judith Stubbs – Expert Witness Report – Social Impacts – 15 07 2019

https://engage.vic.gov.au/north-east-link-project/north-east-link-project-tabled-documents

Debgar Holdings Pty Ltd v Wagga Wagga City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1130
Debgar Holdings Pty Ltd

Dr Stubbs provided expert evidence to the NSW Land and Environment Court on the social impacts associated with the conversion of an existing dwelling (formerly a guest house) to a transitional group home, to be known as the Riverina Recovery House, that will provide care and accommodation for drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
JSA prepared a comprehensive assessment of the likely social impacts of the proposal in the locality, including the suitability of the site, the nature and reasonableness of public submissions and related matters in the public interest. Primary research activities undertaken included site assessment and doorknock surveys of neighbours around five other residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in NSW to better understand the experiences and perceptions of neighbours of facilities similar to the proposal.
The applicant’s appeal was upheld, with the Court finding that the site was a suitable location for the proposed development and that the proposed Plan of Management would address any potential risk of amenity impacts to residents that may arise. The Court noted that the services provided by the Riverina Recovery House are needed and that it will be of benefit to the community of NSW. The Riverina Recovery House will be the first private, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Wagga Wagga.

https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5c9d8361e4b0196eea4058a1

Suh v Liverpool City Council and Casula Community Group for Responsible Planning Inc No. 2 [2016] NSWLEC 1596
Liverpool City Council

Dr Stubbs provided expert opinion of the likely social impacts of a proposal to develop a hotel on the Hume Highway at Casula. The assessment considered social and economic impacts in the locality, the suitability of the site, the nature and reasonableness of public submissions regarding the proposal and related matters in the public interest.

The applicant’s appeal was dismissed, with the Court finding that the risk of adverse social impacts of the proposal outweighed the potential benefits.

https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5850cfb3e4b0e71e17f55f10

Rianon Mateer v Lane Cove Council [2014] NSWLEC 1152
Mr Rianon Mateer

Dr Stubbs provided expert opinion on social planning matters for the applicant of a proposed 20 room ‘new generation’ boarding house in Lane Cove under the requirements of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.  The applicant’s appeal was upheld, with the Court finding that the benefit of providing affordable housing to low and moderate income earners in the area outweighed a slightly increased risk of adverse social impacts.

https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/54a63ed53004de94513dc276

Motto Farm Pty Limited v Port Stephens Council [2011] NSWLEC 1293
Port Stephens Council

JSA provided comprehensive expert evidence on social planning and the likely social and economic impacts proposed change of use of part of an existing restaurant and motel to a hotel on the Pacific Highway at Heatherbrae.

Dr Stubbs provided expert social planning evidence and John Storer provided expert evidence regarding the economic impacts and risk assessment of road and pedestrian safety associated with the proposal.

The applicant’s appeal was dismissed, with the Court finding that the potential impact on pedestrian safety and the proximity of disadvantaged groups in the immediate locality, many of whom lack vehicle availability, warranted refusal.

https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/54a635ce3004de94513d8f18