Melbourne’s Most Experienced Environmental Consultants

Are you a builder, developer or government agency requiring the services of environmental consultants, contaminated land consultants or HAZMAT consulting to facilitate the sale, purchase or development of land? If you are, then the information on this page could save you tens, and possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why?

Because environmental investigations are one of the most elastic expense variables in property development. Most people don’t realise this, but apart from the conditions on a site, THE biggest determinant of the total costs of obtaining environmental approvals is the capability and experience of your environmental consultants.

At Atma our sole focus is to ensure that your compliance and approvals are obtained in the most cost-effective manner possible. The first step in this process is to empower you with relevant information. That’s why we recommend you do these two things to maximise the value you get from visiting our website today.

  1. Download our free report What you Need to Know about Contaminated Land. Over the past decade this simple and easy to read overview of the environmental liabilities of landowners in Victoria, has proven itself to be invaluable to property developers and managers The current version includes all the information and changes property owners need to know following the recent updates to the Environmental Protection Amendment Act 2018, which is scheduled to come into force on the 1st of July 2021. This report contains vital information for property developers and anyone looking to purchase land in Victoria.
  2. Watch the short videos on this page. They were all shot on-site during real consulting jobs and they demonstrate how our extensive experience, applied to a site helps landowners achieve environmental compliance in a more cost-effective manner.

Learn how our 37 years of environmental consulting experience in Melbourne saved one client $172,000 on their residential development.

In fact, if you invest a few minutes now to watch our videos and read the details about these jobs on this page, you’ll learn how we saved them $172,000 off the total cost of their residential development. and how, by applying similar principles, we could save you tens and possibly even hundreds of thousands on your next development. Watch Video 1 (below) now.

We Save Developer’s Money Getting their Development Approvals.
Atma Environmental (613) 9429 6955

How can my choice of environmental consultant have a five to 6 figure bearing on the cost of obtaining development approvals?

As someone not expert in environmental science, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that all environmental,  hazmat and contaminated land consultants are the same. But the truth is they aren’t. And thinking they are could be as harmful to achieving your best outcome as it would be to assume that all lawyers are the same heading into critical litigation.

Everyone recognises that the experience and quality of legal advisers differs and that the experience of your lawyer can make or break your case. But very few people realise the same principle holds true when seeking environmental approvals for a development.

Just as there is no simple cookie cutter approach to winning a court case, there is no simple cookie cutter approach to obtaining an environmental approval. The issues involved are as unique and complex as the history of the property (case), and added to that, environmental compliance regulations are complex, ever-changing and intricate (just like the law).

That means on any given piece of land there are a myriad of variables and approaches to be assessed and considered; and your environmental consultant’s ability to choose the most informed and cost-effective strategy can make tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars difference to the bottom line on your project.

You might be wondering why decision-making is so critical to the process of obtaining development approvals, and how can it make such a difference to the bottom line on a development?

The answer is this.  In most cases, it’s the disbursements (i.e. the costs of the works that need to be done to achieve compliance, like drilling, removal of contamination etc.) that make up the bulk of environmental assessment costs; NOT so much the consulting fees charged by your environmental assessor.

 So, here’s the crux of the matter.  When an environmental consultant’s approach, decision making and project management skills are the most vital inputs in determining your best (i.e. most cost-efficient) result, your environmental consultant’s EXPERTISE & EXPERIENCE becomes the most critical issue in determining the overall costs on your project.

That’s why Atma Environmental are the go-to environmental consultants for so many builders, government departments and property developers in Melbourne. We manage site testing and clean up issues second to none. Our Directors Rory McPhillips and Glenn Berry oversee every job undertaken by Atma Environmental. Glenn has over 30 years experience in contaminated land management and Rory has 14 years experience as a senior environmental consultant. Together, their commitment is that your job is managed like it was their own; which is why very few companies match us for effective planning and decision making.

This extra care and the direct involvement of senior personnel on every job makes a HUGE difference to your bottom line cost, and if you watch Video 2 (below on this page) now you’ll see a real life example of how we go about ensuring your project is closed-out in the timeliest and most cost-effective manner. You can then read on to see a case study of real figures showing how our superior consulting methodologies created a six-figure cost saving for our client in our video.

Atma Environmental (613) 9429 6955.

Here’s how our environmental consulting experience could save you six figures on a typical residential development.

Imagine you’re a property developer considering the purchase of land that you’d like to create residential housing on. Understanding the importance of environmental due diligence, you engage Atma Environmental to check the land prior to purchase.  We do soil testing and find a hidden environmental liability in the form of high levels of arsenic in the soil (see a similar real-life situation as this in Video 1 on this page).  Soil contamination is a potentially expensive issue on development sites (because site clean-up may be required by the environmental auditor to satisfy the permit condition and can add considerable expense to any proposed development).  In fact, sometimes these costs can be the difference between a profitable and a non-viable investment!

But armed with a comprehensive due diligence assessment from Atma Environmental, you have all the critical information about environmental issues that may affect your project, protecting you from loss through ignorance.  Factoring in the likely cost of the arsenic clean-up, you realise that if the vendor won’t compromise on price, you need to walk away from this deal.  Or, using our report as evidence, you negotiate an $85,000 discount on the price of the land because of the known soil contamination.

Great!  Next, you’ll need to clean-up the arsenic contamination in the most cost-effective manner possible and this is an area where Atma Environmental excels.  We consider all possible options when we plan our site clean-up projects so that you achieve compliance in the least expensive way possible.

We are also renowned for our fast job turnaround and our responsive customer service, which alone has saved many of our clients tens of thousands of dollars, because time is money on land deals – even more so on building sites (e.g. downtime, interest paid on loans, site security, etc).  So, our faster than average job turnaround creates additional savings. Then consider the savings we create through better onsite decision making and planning (e.g. controlled soil disposal costs – see Video 2 for real life examples of how we did this for one client), and you’re beginning to understand how our environmental consulting can add value to your land deal by producing faster, less expensive environmental compliance outcomes, which means a more profitable development.  In fact, savings on the example we mention above would easily run into six figures!

Here are the figures showing how our environmental consulting caused the six-figure cost savings.

Savings on Land Purchase: Negotiated discount on land as a result of identifying arsenic on site: $85,000

Savings on Holding & Other Costs: Completing ahead of schedule, faster job turnaround creating savings on the bridging finance and the total costs of the loan: $18,000

 Reduced Soil Disposal Costs: 150 m3 of soil needed to be disposed. The minimum requirement of six soil samples are taken, one indicating the soil is ‘Category B’, the other five indicate ‘Category C Prescribed Industrial Waste’.  Based on the highest result the soil must be classed as ‘Category B’ and the cost to dispose would be 150 m3 x $700/ m3 = $105,000.

However, because our standard operating procedure is to collect at least ten samples, we were able to test four additional samples and re-evaluate the categorisation based on an average value as ‘Category C’. The cost to dispose is now 150 m3 x $240/m3 = $36,000 (as Category C).  The difference in soil disposal alone: $69,000


This case may seem extraordinary to readers who don’t understand the potential elasticity of development approval costs caused by the many variables involved in the investigation and remediation of contaminated land, but be assured, our environmental consulting regularly saves developers tens and even hundreds of thousands in site clean-up costs every year.

To get the environmental consultants in Melbourne with the expertise, experience and personal commitment required to manage your environmental and hazardous materials consulting needs in the best way possible, delivering savings on your next development, call Atma Environmental now.