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About the Review

In October 2019, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Rob Stokes MP, asked the state’s Productivity Commissioner to conduct a review of the Independent Planning Commission NSW. The Terms of Reference for the Review are available here.

Mr Peter Achterstraat AM finalised his Review in December 2019, which examined, among other things, whether it is in the public interest to maintain an Independent Planning Commission (IPC) and the operations and processes of the Commission in the State’s planning framework.

On 1 February 2020, the Minister announced the NSW Government had accepted all the Review’s recommendations. Read the Review report here. The Minister’s media release is available here.

Following the Review

Acting IPC Chair, Mr Peter Duncan AM, will lead the implementation of the recommendations from the Review.  Mr Duncan is acting Chair of the Commission while Professor Mary O’Kane AC leads an independent expert inquiry into the 2019-2020 bushfire season alongside former NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens.
 
Mr Duncan is a long-serving Commissioner of the IPC and a former Director-General of the Department of Services Technology and Administration NSW, Chief Executive of Roads and Maritime Services, and Deputy Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
 
Mr Duncan welcomed the Review’s findings and has committed to implementing the recommendations in full to build confidence in the Commission and the decisions it makes. 

“The Commission has done a lot under the leadership of Professor O'Kane since it was established almost two years ago to increase transparency, foster greater community participation and build trust in our decision-making processes for state significant development in NSW,” Mr Duncan said.  

“Significantly, the Review found that it is in the public interest to maintain the Commission as an independent decision-maker for the state’s most complex and contentious projects. It also made some very important recommendations relating to the Commission’s resourcing and operations.    

“But we don’t shy away from the fact that there is still room for improvement, particularly around timeliness. Of paramount importance, though, is that our decisions are fair and legally robust.

“Moving to implement these recommendations in full will be key to establishing the Commission as an exemplar consent authority which is trusted by government, industry and the community to make planning decisions in the best interests of the State of New South Wales and its people,” Mr Duncan said.