The Central Coast’s independent decision-making panel will be up and running by the beginning March, chaired by planning and local government expert Donna Rygate.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said Ms Rygate had been selected to chair the inaugural Central Coast Planning Panel.
“The Panel will bring greater accountability and transparency to our region’s planning system by making decisions on sensitive, complex and high-value development applications,” Mr Crouch said.
“Ms Rygate’s expertise in governance and planning, particularly her track record as Chief Executive of Local Government NSW, makes her the ideal person for the job.
“Ms Rygate also understands the needs of local communities and she is committed to integrity and proper process. Her appointment will ensure the Panel performs its work with accountability and transparency.”
The two alternate chairs will be Jason Perica and Kara Krason. Mr Perica and Ms Krason are town planning experts with a thorough understanding of local issues, having served on the Joint Regional Planning Panel and have decades of experience in the private and public sectors.
Central Coast Council will now choose the remaining panel members from a pool of 200 experts with a background in planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism or government and public administration. Council must also sign-off on the appointment of the NSW Government’s recommendations for the chair and alternate chairs, and will choose the Panel’s community representative.
“Putting decision-making in the hands of the experts will allow Councillors to focus their time and energy on the core business of local government,” Mr Crouch said.
“We know that between 2016 and 2041 an extra 95,250 people will call the Central Coast home, which is why our community needs greater certainty about planning decisions.”