Australian Government Solicitor No. 2


Michael Kingston

Welcome to the second issue of Australian Government Solicitor magazine.

We have been delighted with your response to our first issue and hope you enjoy this one as well.

As the new Australian Government Solicitor, I have been busy getting to know AGS staff and a number of our clients.

Working in partnership across what is really a Commonwealth legal team providing high-quality and ethical legal services to the Commonwealth of Australia, in this issue we profile some of our colleagues from in-house legal practices across the Commonwealth, as well as our own offices in every Australian jurisdiction.

Also, Justice Gordon of the High Court gave a very popular talk on writing reasons at our last Administrative Law Forum and has kindly allowed us to reproduce it here.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you on so many interesting and important matters, some of which we describe in this issue. We are grateful.

Please send your comments or feedback by email to

Michael Kingston
The Australian Government Solicitor


In this issue

GUEST WRITER – Justice Michelle Gordon of the High Court of Australia
Applying reason to Reasons – start, middle and the end


Duval-Comrie v Commonwealth – a positive settlement for 10,000-member class action

The Australian Taxation Office Review and Dispute Resolution operation


Grant agreement between the Department of Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Indigenous Affairs Legal



Commonwealth land acquisition

Incorporating divestment planning into your lease acquisition strategy

Water rights as property rights and just terms

Section 172 of the Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) – recent applications by the Australian Taxation Office

Freezing orders



AGS offices

AGS Adelaide

AGS Brisbane

AGS Canberra

AGS Hobart

AGS Darwin

AGS Melbourne

AGS Perth

AGS Sydney


Facts and figures


Issue 2: 2017

© Commonwealth of Australia, represented by AGS 2017. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 or unless otherwise expressly indicated all other rights are reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be sent to

The material in this magazine is provided to AGS clients for general information only and should not be relied upon for the purpose of a particular matter. Please contact AGS before any action or decision is taken on the basis of any of the material in this magazine.

ISSN 2206-7388 (Print)

ISSN 2206-737X (Online)

This biannual magazine is published by AGS Client Services. If you would like to subscribe to the print version, please email or call Tiff Brown on 02 6253 7246.

Editor and art director
David Whitbread

Guest writer
Justice Michelle Gordon

Sam Miley
Diana Icasate
David Whitbread

Mandy Orr

Tiff Brown

Web publisher
James Gergely

Andrew Sikorski
Paul Chapman

AGS historical research
Carmel Meiklejohn


We'd like to hear from you

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Otherwise, you can read it online at our website,

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If you would like to provide feedback or suggestions for future content, you can email and, if you have any further queries, please call Tiff Brown on T 02 6253 7246.