Department of Planning and Environment (New South Wales)

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New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment
Department overview
Formed April 2014
Preceding agencies Department of Planning and Infrastructure
Department of Planning
Jurisdiction New South Wales
Headquarters 23-33 Bridge Street, Sydney[1]
Employees 792 (2013) as Department of Planning & Infrastructure[2]
Annual budget A$119 million (2010) as Department of Planning
Ministers responsible Hon. Pru Goward MP, Minister for Planning
Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for the Environment
Hon. Paul Toole MP, Minister for Local Government
Department executive Carolyn McNally,
Acting Secretary
Parent Department Department of Premier and Cabinet
Child agencies Central Coast Regional Development Corporation
Hunter Development Corporation
Luna Park Reserve Trust
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment, a department of the New South Wales Government, is responsible for the long-term planning and ongoing environmental management for the regions of New South Wales and driving well-located housing and employment land. The Department is also responsible for assessing significant development proposals and ensuring the planning system is efficient and effective and for administrating the oversight of local government in the state.

The Department is led by its Acting Secretary, Carolyn McNally, who reports to the Minister for Planning, the Honourable Pru Goward MP, and the Minister for the Environment and the Assistant Minister for Planning, the Honourable Rob Stokes MP, and the Minister for Local Government, the Honourable Paul Toole MP. The

The Department's powers are drawn from the New South Wales Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.[3]


In May 2009, the Department established three divisions focussing on key activities in planning – land release, urban renewal and major project assessment. A fourth division focuses on corporate governance and policy development. The following executive team has been selected to operate from May 18, 2009:

Deputy Directors-General

  • Plan Making & Urban Renewal – Tom Gellibrand (previously Deputy General Manager Strategy at the Growth Centres Commission)
  • Development Assessments – Richard Pearson (previously Department of Planning Rural and Regional Planning Executive Director)
  • Strategies and Land Release – Ian Reynolds (previously General Manager Operations at the Growth Centres Commission)

Executive Directors

  • Corporate Governance & Policy – Donna Rygate (previously Deputy Director-General Strategy, Communications and Governance at the Department of Community Services)
  • Strategy & Infrastructure Planning – Andrew Jackson (previously Principal Advisor, Urban Planning at NSW Treasury)
  • Land Release – Robert Black (previously Deputy General Manager Land Release at the Growth Centres Commission)
  • Planning Operations – Neil McGaffin (previously Department of Planning Southern Region Regional Director)
  • Urban Renewal & Major Sites – Giovanni Cirillo (previously Director City Planning and Regulatory Services at the City of Sydney Council)
  • Major DA Assessment – Chris Wilson (previously Department of Planning Major Projects Assessments Executive Director)
  • Assessments Systems, General Counsel – Marcus Ray (previously Department of Planning Legal Services Director)


The Department's priorities are:[4]

  • Promoting and facilitating sustainable growth
  • Supporting affordable and appropriately-serviced housing and employment land
  • Assessing major projects and infrastructure in a timely and efficient way, while ensuring appropriate planning outcomes
  • Planning to help mitigate climate change
  • Improving service delivery to New South Wales communities and stakeholders
  • Implementing reforms to create a more efficient, transparent and accountable planning system and importantly, the communication of these reforms.

The department employs over 790 staff.[5]

Ancillary functions[edit]

In addition to its core planning responsibilities, the Department administers a number of State Government programs and properties including:

  • BASIX - an energy and water savings scheme for new housing stock;
  • the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2005 - determining conditions for future development at Callan Park in inner Sydney;
  • Smoke alarms - State laws mandating the installation of smoke alarms in all NSW homes.[6]


The Department was established in October 2005 when the former New South Wales Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources was disamalgamated. Between 2005 and 2011, the department was known as the New South Wales Department of Planning. Following the 2011 state election, the current name was adopted for the department and the functions of the Department's heritage branch moved to the Office of Environment and Heritage.[4]


  1. ^ "About us: Contact us". Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Government of New South Wales. 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act". Parliament of New South Wales. 1979. Retrieved 5 May 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "About us: Our structure". Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Government of New South Wales. 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Smoke alarms". NSW Department of Planning. May 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 

External links[edit]