UDIA NSW congratulates Kiersten Fishburn on her appointment to the role of Acting Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which she takes up today, May 15.
“This is a welcome decision from the new NSW Government, particularly as Ms. Fishburn is well qualified to provide leadership in this role, drawing on her most recent positions as Deputy Secretary Cities and Active Transport with TfNSW and her previous leadership role in the Planning Delivery Unit (PDU) at DPE, which finds a pathway forward for development assessments that are moving too slowly through the NSW planning system,” said Steve Mann, CEO of UDIA NSW.
Kiersten also has a strong background in local government during her almost four years as Chief Executive Officer of Liverpool City Council from October 2016 – July 2020, giving her first-hand knowledge of the challenges Councils need to navigate in order to get development approvals through their systems.
NSW needs bold leadership from a new Secretary to deliver a wide array of policies to prioritise housing approvals for feasible projects. This approach needs to build a pipeline with housing to be delivered over the short, medium and long term to turn around the deep housing supply and affordability crisis in our state.
The PDU is looking to coordinate a whole of government approach to development assessment, where often there are long delays for government departments to complete their assessments. UDIA research has shown that even State led Priority Precincts rezonings take on average over 5 years to get through the system and many don’t reach a decision.
“These are the type of problems which must be resolved quickly in NSW, if we are to have any chance of getting on top of the housing supply and affordability crisis over the next few years,” said Mr Mann.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Ms. Fishburn in enabling the development industry to return to growth, even as we continue to deal with the ongoing challenges from the pandemic and the many headwinds for construction costs and capacity constraints, “Mr. Mann said
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