Over the past four decades Mr Hayes has established a reputation as an expert in planning and environment law. He has been involved, as a principal, in major reviews of environmental, heritage and land use planning (as well as other legislation) and has acted as a consultant to federal, state and local governments.

He has an honours degree in law from London University and was appointed a Queens Counsel in 1986. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Natural and Built Environments at UniSA where he has lectured in planning law for nearly 40 years.

Mr Hayes is an Honorary Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and a former chairman of the National Environmental Law Association of Australia as well as a past president of the South Australian Bar Association.

He chaired the South Australian Planning Review (1991–1993) as well as the Central Sydney Planning Review (1994), and has consulted in planning, environment and heritage matters across Australia and overseas.

As the former national chairman of the Australia India Business Council he has led numerous business delegations to India with state and federal governments and has spent many years building bilateral trade between the two nations.

He is currently the South Australian Premier’s Strategic Advisor on India, as well as the State’s Special Envoy to India.