SPOTLIGHT ON WORLD CLASS PLANNERS

Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, has congratulated the NSW Department of Planning for taking out two major gongs at the Planning Institute Australia (PIA) NSW Awards for Planning Excellence in Sydney last night.

The Department won the Best Planning Ideas – Large Project Award for delivering Regional Plans across the whole of regional NSW for the first time and the NSW Young Planner of the Year award went to one of the Department’s executive planners, Rukshan de Silva.

“It’s an honour that the Department’s world class work has been recognised at the prestigious PIA NSW awards,” Mr Roberts said.

“The Best Planning Ideas – Large Project Award for the Department’s Strategic Planning Team for their work on the NSW Regional Planning Program is well deserved.

“The team within the Department’s Planning and Design Division is led by Dan Simpkins and supported by NSW Chief Planner Gary White. It has delivered a phenomenal result, releasing nine Regional Plans from 2015-2017.

“These Regional Plans provide vision and direction for strategic land use planning across the state, including planning for each region’s future needs for housing, jobs, infrastructure and a healthy environment.

“The plans include the delivery of the first-ever Metropolitan Plan for Greater Newcastle and the delivery of the Gosford City Centre Revitalisation Program, both of which I’ve had the great pleasure to announce in recent months”.

Mr Roberts said the NSW Young Planner of the Year, Rukshan de Silva, was an inspiring young person and an outstanding ambassador for the planning profession.

“As an Executive Planner in the Planning and Design team, Rukshan has been developing a framework to recognise local character within Sydney’s Growth Areas and has made a strong contribution to capacity building and advocacy,” he said.

“He also provides technical assistance in strategic land use planning in Peru and is part of PIA’s National Settlement Strategy Team. Rukshan is a worthy recipient for this award and I thank him for his efforts in representing the great work of the Department.”