Greater Sydney Commission (June, 2016)

As part of a series of BPN special events, we invited Sarah Hill, CEO, for the newly established Greater Sydney Commission to deliver a presentation to BPN members, affiliates and supporters about the Commission's role and priorities.

A guest panel discussion followed, with Ms Hill joined by GSC Commissioners, Heather Nesbitt and Rod Simpson, Sue Higginson, CEO, EDO NSW, architect Philip Thalis, academic and writer Elizabeth Farrelly, and David Shoebridge MLC, who kindly hosted the event for BPN at Parliament House.  A Planning Update preceded the Presentation and Panel Discussion, with a Q & A session following.  

The evening provided the opportunity for forthright and timely discussion about the Commission's opportunities and challenges, with the key themes emerging: 

- the growing trust deficit and lack of confidence in the planning process
- inadequacy of the length of time for the preparation of the District Plans
- challenges of transparency and questions around governance
- how meaningful and proper community engagement can be achieved given the recent dismissal of many councils
- the need to change the Commission's rules of engagement to address some fundamental and underlying issues
- the opportunities to do things better

In response the following resolution for the Minister was unanimously endorsed: 

"Given the void in local government following recent local government changes and the requirement for the Greater Sydney Commission to engage with and extensively consult local government and the community, this Forum of community representatives from throughout Greater Sydney calls on the State government to extend the timeframe for the Greater Sydney Commission to consult with local government and our community to at least six (6) months after the next local government elections."

Following the evening, members and affiliates have been invited to provide feedback for the Commission, which will be collated and presented to the GSC for discussion.

Thank you to everyone who attended the night, which included fellow Commissioner Geoff Roberts, and the Opposition's Deputy Leader, Michael Daley and Courtney Houssos MP, and senior executive from the Department. Last but not least, a special thank you to MC, Suzette Meade and Geoff Turnbull who led the Q & A Session. 

To view Better Planning Network's Presentation: BPN - Planning Update
Greater Sydney Commission’s Presentation will be uploaded as soon as it's available.