Skip to main content

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides that the Planning Assessment Commission is to consist of a chair and not less than three other members, and not more than nine members in total.  Commission members are appointed by the Minister and selected from a broad range of disciplines with experience in planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism or government and public administration.

The Minister may also appoint casual members to carry out specific tasks.  A casual member is not required to have expertise in an area referred to above but should have expertise in the area relevant to that specific task.

Policies on Personal Interests & Conflict of Interests

The work of the Planning Assessment Commission is often complex and contentious. The Planning Assessment Commission is committed to sound governance and management of personal interests. In addition to the Commissions Code of Conduct, the Commission has adopted policies governing the management of personal interests and conflict of interest matters. To access these policies, please click on the links below.

Policy on Personal Interests

Policy Guide for Conflict of Interest

Current Members

Lynelle Briggs AO, Chair, has a distinguished career in public administration, policy, strategy, regulation and operations.  Areas of expertise include: transport, infrastructure, health and safety, insurance, superannuation, and public sector ethics, leadership and governance.  She is currently an Independent Director of Maritime Super, Chair of the General Insurance Code Governance Committee and an Independent Director of Goodstart Early Learning. Lynelle is the former Australian Public Service Commissioner, former Deputy Secretary in the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services, and former CEO of Medicare. She has been Chair of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2014.

Paul Forward has over 40 years of senior level experience in both the private and public sectors, including the Tertiary Sector with specific experience in transport, water industries and land use planning. He is a qualified economist and town planner, with postgraduate qualifications in both disciplines, with a Master of Commerce (Economics from UNSW) and a Master of Science (Planning from the University of London). He commenced his career as a Lecturer in Economics at UNSW, was Chief Executive of the Roads and Traffic Authority for six years, and was a Principle at Evans and Peck from 2006 to 2013. He has held various other positions including Chair of AUSTROADS, Chair of AgriBio (the Bio Science Research Centre based at La Trobe University) and Executive Director at Sydney Water. He has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2012.

David Johnson is a geologist and environmental scientist with over 30 years of experience in environmental assessment & management, site investigation & remediation, and environmental monitoring, audits and compliance.  He is a part-time university lecturer in environmental science, was previously an Acting Commissioner in the Land & Environment Court and a former Principal and founding director of a specialist consulting firm in Sydney. He has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2012.

Abigail Goldberg has over thirty years of experience in planning, property, infrastructure and transport across both the private and public sectors. She was formerly CEO of Metro Transport Sydney, General Manager of South Sydney Development Corporation and Assistant Director of the Urban Design Advisory Service. Abigail currently serves as a Chair and Non Executive Director on several boards, and is also an Associate of the UTS Centre for Excellence in Local Government. She has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2012.

Annabelle Pegrum AM is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects. She was the Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority from 1998-2008 and previously held senior executive positions with the ACT Government.  She is an Adjunct Professor in architecture of the University of Canberra and from 2009-2013 was the University Architect. She has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2012.

Robyn Kruk AM has broad experience at senior executive level both in the State and Commonwealth sectors.  She has represented NSW in Commonwealth/State negotiations in many areas including Health Reform Strategy, Housing Agreement, Inter-governmental Agreement on the Environment, National Forestry Policy, National biodiversity Policy, National Strategy on Sustainable Development and the Climate Change Strategy.  Robyn has developed and implemented legislation relating to water management and reform at both state and national levels, environmental planning and assessment, major project approvals and endangered species protection. She has held statutory and regulatory responsibility for major projects at State and national level.  Robyn was the CEO and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission; Secretary of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Australian Government); Secretary of Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (Australian Government); Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW Government), Director General of NSW Health and Director General of National Parks and Wildlife Service. She has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2014.

Brian Gilligan has over 40 years of experience in education and environment protection in the public sector including serving as the Director General of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service after a period as Executive Director Operations with the Environment Protection Authority. He has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2011.

Casual Members

Alan Coutts worked for over 35 years in the NSW public sector and has extensive experience in the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors. Alan has held a number of Director General and Chief Executive Officer positions including Director General of the Department of Transport, Director General of the Department of Mineral Resources and CEO of the Rural Assistance Authority and the NSW Food Authority. Alan has also held a number of board appointments including the State Rail Authority, State Transit Authority, Coal Compensation Board, Mine Subsidence Board and Rural Assistance Authority. He has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2013.

Gordon Kirkby has over 20 years of experience in planning and environmental impact assessment in both the State Government and the private sector.  He is the Chair of the Western NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel. He has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2014.

Ross Carter has worked across the spectrum of climate change related policy, regulation and programmes including most recently with the Commonwealth Clean Energy Regulator. Prior to joining the Australian Public Service in 2006 he had a 20 year career in the NSW public sector spanning environment protection, conservation and natural resource management policy and regulatory development and implementation. This included operational roles and executive roles in both metropolitan and rural areas. Mr Carter is an accredited decision maker under the New Zealand Resource Management Act and has recently completed a sabbatical at the University of Otago receiving a Master of Science with Distinction in environmental management. 

John Hann has over 30 years experience in statutory land use planning, covering both the public & private sectors. He is a Churchill Fellow & former construction materials Industry Association Planning Chair. For the past 12 years John has focused on statutory approval processes across the broad range of Australian jurisdictions, including environmental assessment, indigenous relationships & community engagement.

Dr Maurice Evans holds a unique combination of higher academic and professional qualifications and experience as an architect, planner, academic and barrister specialising in commercial, administrative, property, construction, environmental, planning, heritage, valuation and related law. As a practicing barrister he is briefed as Counsel for numerous key government, institutional, corporate and private clients in matters in the NSW Supreme Court and Land and Environment Court and Court of Appeal and presides in Arbitrations referred by nominators including the District and Local Courts and the NSW Bar Association.

Andrew Hutton has an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management and a Masters in Environmental and Business Management.  He has 20 years broad environmental consulting experience in the agriculture, mining and extractive industry sectors. Andrew’s early career included working on mines as a site based Environmental Manager,with the last 12 years working as an environmental management consultant. Andrew previously held the position of General Manager of a small multi-disciplinary Environmental Consultancy based in Newcastle, prior to it being acquired by SLR Consulting Australia Pty Ltd in 2012. He currently holds the position of Technical Director and is an Executive on the Asia Pacific Management Team.  Andrew has experience in major project Environmental Impact Assessment, regulatory approvals, licensing and permitting, mine closure planning and rehabilitation, stakeholder consultation, major project and life of project risk assessment, Environmental Management Systems and environmental compliance and due diligence auditing.

Dr Marcus Lincoln Smith is an aquatic ecologist with over 30 years experience working in freshwater, estuarine and coastal ecosystems in NSW.  He has undertaken major ecological studies on topics as varied as population estimates of grey nurse sharks on the east coast of Australia and on the impacts of mine water discharges from coal mines on freshwater ecology in the Hunter and Illawarra regions.  He has also undertaken studies on the ecological effects of environmental flows and water transfers.  In 2003 he prepared on behalf on the (then) NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning a manual on the application of aquatic ecology in environmental impact assessment.  Marcus is currently undertaking part-time environmental consulting and has a Fellowship position at Macquarie University.

Steve O’Connor has expertise and qualifications in planning and environmental science and has worked in local government in NSW for 16 years and for the Northern Territory government for 2 years. For the past 22 years he has worked as a consultant in the private sector. Steve is a Fellowship of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), a Registered Planner and served Chair and as a member of the Alliance Leadership Team (ALT) for the Sydney Water Delivery Alliance. Steve was appointed by the NSW Minister for the Environment to the Natural Resource Advisory Council, is a Director of the PIA and is currently a national Vice President of PIA.

Roger Fisher is an experienced executive and consultant with experience over many years advising governments on transport, infrastructure, agriculture, natural resources and other issues.  He was a senior executive in the Commonwealth Public Service, and has worked as a consultant for LECG and ACIL Allen Consulting.  Roger is currently the Managing Director of Pegasus Economics.  He is a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia.

Ilona Miller is an environmental and projects lawyer with over 17 years experience in natural resource management law, environmental markets, climate law and policy. Ilona is a visiting Fellow at the ANU College of Law at the Australian National University where she teaches the international climate change law course. She has previously taught environmental law and lectured on water markets in the environmental markets course at UNSW. Ilona is currently a Special  Council at Baker & McKenzie and has previously been the Principal Solicitor of the Environmental Defender's Office (NSW). She has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2015.

Professor Zada Lipman is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Law at Macquarie University and has written extensively on environmental law. Over the past 30 years, she has taught a number of environmental subjects especially pollution law, planning law, coastal adaptation law and international environmental law. She currently teaches in the Master of Laws program at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney. She was formerly the Director of the Centre for Environment Law and the Director for Conflict and Environmental Dispute Resolution at Macquarie University. She was a member of the executive of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, and served as a Director of the Environmental Defender's Office (NSW). She has been admitted as a barrister in New South Wales and previously practised as an advocate in South Africa. She has been a member of the Planning Assessment Commission since 2015