“I have a keen interest in helping local governments and other statutory bodies comply with their responsibilities under planning, right to information and information privacy laws.”

Planning & Environment 

Michael Cerruto, Senior Associate


Planning and Environment Appeals, Planning Advice, Development Offences and other Prosecution and Enforcement Matters, Administrative Law - Right to Information and Information Privacy


LLB (Hons), B Justice (Hons), GDLP.  Solicitor of Supreme Court of Queensland.  Solicitor of the High Court of Australia


Michael is a Senior Associate in our Planning & Environment Group.  He is also a leading contributor to the firm’s advice work in other areas of local government corporate governance including sale of land for overdue rates and, in particular, right to information and information privacy.  Michael brings a practical and strategic approach to assisting Councils and other statutory bodies to navigate and comply with their legal responsibilities in these areas.  

Significant recent matters that Michael has undertaken include:

  • in conjunction with King & Company partner Tim Fynes-Clinton, acting for the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council providing advice regarding a Right to Information Access Application made by a ratepayer group for access to employment contracts of senior council management staff.  The firm provided the council advice regarding third party consultation of the affected council staff, preparing the initial decision and responding to the Information Commissioner during the external review of the council’s decision sought by affected council staff.  This matter was an important test case on the extent to which council staff remuneration is required to be disclosed under the Right to Information Act 2009 and culminated in the Information Commissioner upholding the council’s decision;
  • in conjunction with King & Company partner Tim Fynes-Clinton, acting for the McKinlay Shire Council in a matter involving the sale of land for rates arrears under the Local Government Regulation 2012 owned by an incorporated association in liquidation.  The firm provided advice on the lawful service of rates notices to incorporated associations, preparing statutory notices for the sale of the land for rates arrears and managing the liquidator and creditors.  The firm successfully assisted the council in auctioning the land for rates arrears and ensured that all required notices were issued and properly served;
  • in conjunction with King & Company partner David Kevin, acting for Somerset Regional Council, in a Planning & Environment Court appeal brought by a developer against Council’s refusal of a development application for a relocatable home park.  The proposal was to establish relocatable homes in a floodplain that would be subject to significant risk of inundation and property damage in the 1 in 100 year flood event when allowance was made for climate change, and that would be predominantly occupied by retired persons.  The firm assisted Council to successfully defend the appeal on the basis that the exercise of the planning discretion warranted a refusal of the development application given the unacceptable risks posed by the development to the safety of persons and property. 

Michael achieved first class honours in his Law and Justice bachelors QUT, receiving a University Medal for his academic performance in the latter degree. 

Michael was listed in the 2022 Doyle's Guide as a Rising Star within the Queensland Planning and Environment law jurisdiction.  

Michael holds a current practising certificate from the Queensland Law Society and is a member of the Queensland Environmental Law Association (“QELA”).  Michael is a member of QELA’s Expert Witness Workshop Sub-committee.  He was previously a member of QELA's Legislative & Policy Review Sub-committee.  He is also a member of King & Company’s Health & Wellbeing Committee. 

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