UON engineering expert appointed to key state planning authority

Thursday, 26 April 2018


University of Newcastle environmental engineering expert Professor Garry Willgoose has been appointed a Commissioner of the newly constituted NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

Professor Gary Willgoose

The IPC replaced the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) on 1 March 2018, as the consent authority for all state significant developments; and is independent of the Department of Planning.

Members of the IPC, appointed by the NSW Minister for Planning, are selected from a broad range of disciplines with experience in fields such as planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism or government and public administration.

Professor Willgoose has focused on hydrogeomorphology for the past 20 years, with particular expertise in long-term post-mining rehabilitation forecasting and environmental management.

More recently, his focus has been on soil and soil properties pre and post-mining. Professor Willgoose also provides high quality expertise in the long-term impacts of mining and groundwater impacts of coal seam gas.

The broad of expertise of the members on the IPC reflects the often complex and contentious work they are called on to assess and determine, including state significant DAs where there have been more 25 objections. A key part of the IPC’s work is to hold public hearings to allow all interested parties to have an input into the planning process for NSW.

State significant projects include all major development projects including resources developments, including mining and coal seam gas; major infrastructure, for example buildings, ports, airports, electricity generation and industrial facilities; and major land development, such as residential estates and town planning.