19 November 2018 | Daily Top Story: Kaldas review of decision–making in the planning system

Over the last few years, the NSW Government has introduced major reforms to the NSW planning system. All have been aimed at delivering greater transparency and efficiency, to bring certainty and trust of the planning process to the people of NSW.

The reforms are significant in that they: 

  • Strengthened the role of the Independent Planning Commission (formally the Planning Assessment Commission) to bring a high level of independence, expertise and transparency to the assessment and determination of significant applications in NSW.
  • Introduced the most significant overhaul of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 since its inception almost 40 years ago. The changes reflected the Government’s commitment to thriving and well-designed communities with local character and heritage.
  • Made Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) mandatory for all councils in Sydney and the Wollongong City Council to further guard against corruption and lead to better local planning decisions. IHAPs bring expertise, transparency and integrity to the assessment DAs of significant value in local council areas.
  • Established the Greater Sydney Commission to drive a strategic planning focus for the Greater Sydney Region – making Sydney a more productive, liveable and sustainable place to live and work.
  • Modernised the Joint Regional Planning Panels to strengthen decision-making on regionally significant development applications and other planning matters.

It is timely after these reforms to review the integrity of decision making and undertake a holistic review of governance across the planning system. This will:

  • Confirm that the recommendations of the 2018 review of the IHAP framework are being implemented; and
  • Identify areas for improvement to ensure best practice against international standards, including in interactions between levels of government.

Nick Kaldas, former NSW Deputy Police Commissioner and Director of Internal Oversight Services for the UN’s Relief Works Agency, has been engaged to undertake this governance review of decision-making in our planning system.

The review is currently underway and the Department is logging all requests and information for consideration. Further information will be published on the Departments website as it becomes available.

Mr Kaldas will provide his final report to the Department by 30 November 2018.

The terms of reference can be found below.

To find out more about the Review or if you have relevant information to share, please Contact Us


Terms of Reference



Source: https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Assess-and-Regulate/About-compliance/Kaldas-review



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