Our insights - Henry Davis York

Changes to NSW environment and planning agencies & ministers

Spacer Panel

August 2014

Following the appointment of Mike Baird as Premier of New South Wales, there have been several changes to the NSW environment and planning agencies and ministers. The key changes relate to the formation of the new environmental and planning cluster (Cluster) and its associated entities, and the abolition of the position of Director-General.

The Cluster

The former Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DoPI) has now been renamed the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E). Under the new Cluster arrangement, the following agencies operate:

  • Central Coast Regional Development Corporation
  • Hunter Development Corporation
  • Luna Park Reserve Trust
  • Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
  • Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)
  • Office of Local Government
  • UrbanGrowth NSW.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) also falls within the Cluster, and is also a separate statutory authority (since 2012).

The Director-General

The changes abolished the position of Director-General of the former DoPI. Any reference to the Director is now to be construed as a reference to the Secretary of the DP&E under s 7(2)(b) of the Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes - Ministers and Public Service Agencies) Order 2014.

The new role of Secretary will have wider responsibilities serving three Ministers: Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment and Heritage, and Minister for Local Government.

The Secretary will now perform the role of Director-General, for the purposes of assessing applications, issuing Director- General requirements, and granting consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) and Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000.

Similarly, the Secretary is the relevant authority to obtain concurrence before determining development consent under s79B of the EPA Act.

As of 29 July 2014, the Secretary for the DP&E is Carolyn McNally.

Please click here to view the current DP&E organisational chart.


Nicholas Brunton


61 408 669 831

61 2 9947 6330


Other related insights