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Georges River Council to establish an Independent Hearing & Assessment Panel (IHAP)


Georges River Council Administrator John Rayner announced today that Council has approved the establishment of an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP).

"I am pleased to announce that Adam Seton, the Partner at Marsdens Law Group who is in charge of Local Government, Planning and Environmental Law Section, has been appointed Chairperson of the newly-formed IHAP," he said.

"Adam is a highly respected lawyer who has appeared as advocate in more than 500 cases in the Land and Environment Court on behalf of Councils as well as private clients. He has appeared on behalf of clients at the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, the NSW Court of Appeal and in Commissions of Inquiry.

"Also joining the IHAP is award-winning urban designer Gabrielle Morrish, Managing Director of GM Urban Design & Architecture. Gabrielle has worked for more than 29 years in urban design and architecture. She has held many advisory roles across both state and local government sectors.

"Juliet Grant, Executive Director – Strategy and Development at City Plan Services, will also join the panel. She is widely recognised as an industry leader with vast expertise in strategic and statutory planning within the government sphere.

Mr Rayner said the IHAP brings together high calibre professionals and experts who collectively, given their unique specialisations, will help to increase efficiency and cut unnecessary red tape in the determination of development applications (DAs).

"In addition, there will be community representation on the IHAP. Expressions of interest will be invited shortly.

"The panel will significantly cut down the awaiting DA determinations and help to improve and streamline processes for applicants.

"IHAP will also provide an opportunity for families who wish to undertake developments by cutting down the development approval time along with financial cost savings.

"With improvements to delegated authority, Council has already determined more than 30

development applications today, which will help to fast-track processing times. These DAs have a combined construction value of more than $20 million.

"I am pleased that we have successfully created an IHAP, as this is considered industry best practice and provides transparency, confidence and efficiency in the development assessment process."

For more information:

Anthea Gregory-Desmond
Manager Public Relations and Events
Georges River Council
Civic Centre, MacMahon St, Hurstville NSW P: 02 9330 6008
M: 0433 051388

Fiona Yardley
Coordinator Communications and Research
Georges River Council
Civic Centre, 2 Belgrave St, Kogarah NSW P: 02 9330 9472
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