Active Living NSW Implementation Framework Project
The purpose of this Framework/Guide is to recommend appropriate actions at the local government level to assist in the implementation (and ongoing sustainability) of the provisions of the NSW State Government’s ‘Healthy Eating and Active Living’ (HEAL) Strategy.
The project commenced late January and will run until late 2019. In particular,it aims to assist councils to integrate HE and AL into their various strategic planning processes. It is a project in two stages: firstly, a draft Framework, followed by four working sessions (around the state) to refine the resource. The Project Manager is Vanessa Burow (ALNSW Manager) and key players are the Local Health Districts across the state.
Good Governance Forum (Local Government NSW)
A presentation on 'Professional Practice and the Planning System' on Thursday November 29.
Covered the basics of the planning system, identified corruption-prone activities and suggested how we can best avoid such situations. The paper drew from the ICAC, UNSW Professional Practice Course and my own 'war stories'. Shared the stage with a range of auditing and governance speakers, including the NSW Auditor-General (Margaret Crawford), Governance Manager of LGNSW (John Davies) and the NSW Information Commissioner (Elizabeth Tydd).
Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPS) Training
Appointed as part of the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Goverrnance Team to organise and run, for the NSW DPE, a series of training sessions.
The training is for council staff, councillors and practitioners, and will commence this year with a Sydney session for staff and councillors, moving to other Sydney and non-metropolitan locations in 2019.
The LSPS is a long-awaited bridge between the wealth of State Government reigonal planning initiatives and local planning strategies and actions, in particular, amendments to council Local Environmental Plans. Of equal significance, the LSPS is an opportunity to link planning action to councils' broader Community Strategic Plans.
PIA Planet Series – Healthy Planning, August 1 2018
Participating facilitator for a special one day seminar
The seminar was part of the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) Planet series. Organised by Vanessa Burow (Active Living NSW), with my input, and featuring Professpr Susan Thompson, Norma Shanke-Williams (Chair of the NSW Healthy Planning Expert Working Group), Steve Moore (Roberts Day), John Small (Stockland) and the team from Wollondilly (Council plus NSW Health). The day concluded with a a 'fast-dating' style session on key current documents and a good discussion on how they fit within the NSW Planning system.
Your Guide to the DA process: small scale residential development
Writer on the Team
The Team comprised the DP&E and a number of councils from around the State. Great to see your work on the DP&E Home page. A good product, nominated for a PIA award, following on from over a decade of Leichhardt/ Inner West Council's DA seminar series
Last PLAN 4142 class at UNSW
A celebration with the last of the 8 day UNSW Bachelor of Town/ City Planning final year course, PLAN 4142 Professionalism, Ethics and Politics.
Always my favourite job, giving me the chance of researching and teaching the three topics in the title plus workplace psychology, organisation and management, negligence and other elements of professional practice. The course is morphing into the new-look PLAN 3003, same title, one of 5 Practice Courses in the new-look Bachelor of City Planning Course
Shoalhaven week – CBD matters and Active Living Seminar, May 21 – 24
A big work-week for me at home in the Shoalhaven
Firstly, as facilitator for a workshop with the Nowra CBD Revitalisation Committee and Councillors, to discuss priorities and operations.
Secondly, the fourth, final and one of the best Active Living NSW Seminars. A great day, with a full range of speakers, including council staff and Culburra resident Karen Legge
WSU Field Trip
On Monday April 30 I led 54 WSU students on a field trip to NSW Parliament House and the Land and Environment Court.
With the assistance of Rowena Butland (WSU) and Matt Harker (Lindsay Taylor Lawyers) we met at PH and then sat in on a range of court cases before a debrief back at PH. It was tricky with so many students, but it was a success.
Teaching at Western Sydney University
Western Sydney University have engaged me to teach Planning and Environmental Regulation in 2018.
This is an opportunity for me to re-cast my resourses and interest in planning law and administration through WSU's Planning Program. The Unit is mandatory for some students and an elective for others. So far 50 or so enrolees! The program builds on that offered previously by Laura Schatz and includes input from ParraCity council and a field trip to the Land and Environment Court
Active Living in Tamworth
Facilitated a one day session for Active Living NSW at Tamworth in December
A successful session with Tamworth Regional Council (and surrounding councils), Local Health Districts and health professionals. Following a keynote address from Dr. Jennifer Kent (Uni of Sydney), papers were presented by Jan Fallding (on her IP&R research), Penny Milson (Heart Foundation), Tracy Schumacher (Uni of Newcastle), Vanessa Burow (ALNSW) and Natalie Drage (Cessnock City Council). Lots of discussion and press coverage. The first in a series of four (through 2018) focussing on how to best utilise Local Government's Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework to promote active living and healthy eating (including the Planning system!)
Memories of Tamworth – the Wiggins family ran the Family Hotel in the forties. On my last visit (for the Tamworth Development Corporation), I stayed in the Slim Dusty Suite (pictured, Slim and Joy).
Owners Guide to DAs
Building upon the DA Best Practice Guide, the DP&E have commissioned me to produce a written Guide and a Seminar Kit for non-professional applicants.
The purpose of the Guide is to provide advice on the DA process for small-scale residential development. The Seminar Kit is based on the successful Inner West Councils two-hour DA seminar.
The primary target audiences are:
- land and property owners extending or rebuilding their principal place of residence
- owner developers
- small scale non-professional developers
In addition, the Guide is targeted at:
• Building designers
• Project ‘granny flat’ specialists/sales consultants: packages from industry – ‘we’ll do it for you’
• Sales consultants (giving pre-purchase advice)
Types of development covered: the Guide covers domestic-scale residential development and construction, from alterations and additions to dual occupancy. More specifically, it covers:
• Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling
• Construction of new dwelling houses, including project homes that are not ‘complying development’
• Secondary dwellings (granny-flats)
• Dual occupancy
UNSW From PLAN 4142 to PLAN 3003
The five year BPlan Degree is now a 4 year Bachelor of City Planning. As a result, after well-over a decade, the fifth year course I teach, PLAN 4142 (Professionalism, Ethics and Politics), is replaced by a shorter version (PLAN 3003), in 3 X 2 day blocks, as one of four 'practice courses', while the students are in practice.
This is a welcome move for me – a challenge to distill the content and present it at three key points in the practical year: on commencemenrt of work (January), mid-way (July) and on completion (January), and it rolls-on. Still this year and the next for PLAN 4142, in transition.
Delivering the DA Best Practice Guide
In response to the Premier's Priority (speedy DA assessment), and pressure from the Federal Government (both under the banner of housing affordability), the NSW DP&E have prepared the Guide: best practice, targets and key milestones. I have been asked by the DP&E to assist with advice on how best to deliver the Guide to key local councils.
A draft Report is with the Department, forming part of what I assume is ongoing action and groundwork.
Department of Planning and Environment's DA Fee Review
I have been appointed to review DA fees, providing input to the 2017 Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation Review.
The Report will idenfify and provide a rationale for the actions during the DA process that should attract fees. The project builds on previous work undertaken by the Department (and others) on the issue – Deloitte on fees that were to be accompany the ill-fated Planning Bills, IPART on the cost burden to councils of State requirements and a series of Business Process (DA) Mapping exercises undertaken by the DP&E. As well as peer reviewing theses document I am also interviewing five councils. This has commenced.
An interesting job for me given my backgroung with DA processes over the last 30 plus years
PCAL Roadshow August 2016 – Wagga Wagga and Ballina
After presentations and working sessions In Western Sydney and Circular Quay, the Team was off to the regions. The capacity building sessions focussed on how Local Government's 'Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework' can be utilised to promote HBEP's Three Domains – Active Living, Healthy Eating and Community Connectedness. DW as facilitator and participant.
At both places, the keynote address was delivered by Dr. Jennifer Kent, with presentations by local councils and Local Health Districts showcasing local initiatives - Town Centre Masterplans, Transport Strategies and Partnership Building. This was followed by a workshop activity on the IP&R Framework.
At Sydney airport, waiting for the plane to Wagga Wagga I had the joy of running into my first true love, Sue. We were gobsmacked. It has been thirty years.
Reading about Henry George
Just finished reading this new biography of Henry. The title continues to be most relevant .
I am a long-standing HG fan, with his interest in how "progress" and poverty continue to co-exist, and his dedication to the principal of equity. He promoted the notion of "unearned increment" (in the value of land) and land tax (as the best form of tax). Most relevant with all the current talk of paying for infrastructure provision and the potential of "value capture".
The biography also covers Henry's successful. yet ill-fated career in politics, also of interest to me in teaching Planning and Politics – from principles to the harsh realities of factions and elections.
I facilitated this full day on diabetes prevention for Western Sydney, a hotspot.
Really stretched my facilitation skills, with over 100 attendees and 20 or so speakers. The speakers and co-chairs were from a broad cross-section of disciplines and sectors, and was promoted by the Premier's Department (responding to his childhood diabetes objective). We presented and discussed the evidence and generated a range of options for action – an input to a Western Sydney Diabetes Strategy. Of course, this included the role of Built Environment professionals.
The ambitious session was successful in achieving the aim of the day – prompt mobilisation of the various forces under the auspices of the Premier.
Working at the Gehry Building
First time teaching in this UTS building..
Outside, a great piece of sculpture in an old semi-industrial setting. Reminiscent of Antonio Gaudi.
Inside, all the mod cons, great teaching space.
PCAL & WSROC FORUM: Planning an Active Western Sydney
On October 29 I facilitated a one day forum on Planning for an Active Western Sydney, culminating in the WSROC Mayors signing the Walk 21 Charter.
The morning session featured a number of speakers, with a keynote address from Ben Rossiter (Victoria Walks) and brief presentations from Parramatta and Fairfield Councils and Stephen Moore (Roberts Day). This was followed by group work on the main theme – how to use the IR&R Framework to promote active living.
A collaborative approach on complying development
Working as part of the UTS Centre for Local Government team (for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment) on an education program on exempt and complying development for local government.
The outcomes will be a one day workshop, an eLearning module and a formal ppt presentation. The project also involves a review of current resources (e.g. the Electronic Housing Code) and documents (e.g. information sheets, FAQs).
Facilitted two workshops for Wodonga Council on Active Travel, as part of their draft Integrated Transport Strategy. Held at ther Cube.
The first session was with local school representatives and the second was with a cross section of council staff. At both sessions formal presentations were made by Victoria Walks and the Bicycle Network. A successful day – the school kids were terrific (outlining issues for them) and the staff were engaged in the early dsicussion on the need for a whole of Council approach. Great potential at Wodonga, especially for active travel and the revitalisation of the CBD.
I was asked by the Planning Institute (NSW) to write the guest editorial for this special edition of New Planner .
The theme of the edition is Planning and Politics, with a great cartoon on the cover from Cathy Wilcox and a range of interesting articles. Happy reading and voting.
Professional practice at UNSW
Breakfast Day 1 at UNSW final year course 'Professionalism Ethics and Politics'. Well timed given the upcoming election and, hopefully, a revival of the Planning Reform Agenda. Good to be back on campus.
Continuing Education at UTS
Lots of action at UTS for The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government.
Development Assessment, with Associate Professor Andrew Kelly (UOW), Neil Selmon (UTS) and Peter Barber (Director, Sutherland Shire): the basics! Also, Certification Short Course (with Sue Francis, City Plan Services) and Local Infrastructure Planning, with Greg New (GLN Planning), Lindsay Taylor and others. I continue to be involved in course development for 2015 with Geraldine O'Connor (UTS): more on certification, Urban Design for Local Government Planners and Ethics/ Professional Practice
Walk 21 Conference
Chaired a session at the International Walk 21 Conference, organised by PCAL, on Health Evidence and Policy Development in Planning.
Speakers were Professor Susan Thompson (HBEP, UNSW), Paul Klarenaar (Director, NSLHD Health Promotion) and Jeff Oatman (Green Buildings Council of Australia). It went well, with inspiration from Susan, case studies from Paul and an insight into GBCA from Jeff. Lucky it was held in the Sonar Room and not the Rotor!
Eurobodalla Rural Lands Strategy
Gearing up for a series (10 sessions) with stakeholders on Policy Directions for the Rural Lands Strategy.
The brief requires the facilitator to prepare for, facilitate and report on two rounds of stakeholder workshops, as a key element of the Policy Directions Phase of Council’s Rural Lands Strategy Project. The output will inform Council’s planning guidelines, including the five-year LEP review.
The broad methodology is in accordance with Council’s existing Community Engagement Strategy, of which this project is the third phase. There will be two rounds of workshops: the first round of 5 sessions aims to present relevant information to participants, with tasks in the intervening week feeding the second round of detailed discussions on policy directions. A draft overview (confirmed by participants) will be an input to Council’s deliberations.
Building Professionals Board: Certification Practice Guide
The BPB has appointed me as Writer on the Team to prepare the Guide.
The Guide will clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the various players, in particular private and council certifiers. In addition, it will outline the key stages in the process, providing advice on specific matters.
NSW Food Forum 2014
I presented a paper at the NSW Food Forum 2014 at my favourite building (The Grace Building) on my Mother's birthday, March 11 (she would have been 107).
The paper was titled "Tools councils can work with to create healthy food environments", and focussed on the PCAL Resource: "Utilising the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework to promote active living and healthy eating".
Adelaide with the Heart Foundation
I was invited to work with the Heart Foundation (and other members of the SA Active Living Coalition) as the SA State Government commences their Planning System Review. This follows from my active involvement in the NSW Review over the last 2 years.
The session featured papers from Wendy Bell and myself: on "An Ideal Planning System" and Lessons from NSW" respectively. At this early stage in their Review (Listening Stage), focus was upon articulating the scope of Planning (to include health), with a workshop session to develop Key Issue Statements in relation to significant matters for community health and well-being. Details are available from the SA Heart Foundation
Healthy Food and Council's IPR Framework
I am currently updating the Premier's Council for Active Living (PCAL) "Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) Resource" to cover healthy eating.
In 2010 we prepared the resource titled "Addressing active living through councils' Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework": a guide on dealing with active living through community engagement and Community Strategic Plans to the action-oriented Delivery Programs and Operational Plans. After last year's State election PCAL had their charter extended to cover healthy eating. As a result of this, and the release of the updated IP&R Manual, the Resource is being updated to cover healthy eating objectives and actions (and tweek the active living component). Due for a draft in November.
Planners in the Pub
A fun night as a panellist at Wollongong's Brewery to discuss "Selling Community Consultation"
Joined on the panel by Carey McIntyre (Shellharbour) and Laurel-LeeRoderick (DP&I), with Carla Rogers (Evolve) as facilitator. My "catchphrase" poster prepared with Jonnie and Rebekah at Milcstudio (Orient Point).
UNSW Professional Practice 2013
Just wrapped-up this final year BPlan Course: Professionalism, ethics and politics. Fifty students, after practical experience (with most still working).
This continues to be my favourite annual project. Enthusiasm from them and a chance for me to work on those deep and meaningful topics: ethics, politics, psychology, negligence etc. Won the Deans Award for this subject in 2012. Picture is my view of UNSW 1971.
Healthy Planning Roadshow
A successful Roadshow with Susan Thompson to Albury and Griffith: aeroplanes and a road-trip.
That's eight down: Port Macquarie, Canterbury, Shellharbour, Penrith, Newcastle, Albury, Griffith and central Sydney. On each occasion with a council planner (or two) to provide a local context. This worked well. See also my Images and the HBEP website: www.be.unsw.edu.au
Picture: Matthew Smithwick
White Paper work
Up to my neck in it! Continuing to work with the Premier's Council for Active Living and the Healthy Built Environments Program (UNSW): one day forum with a broad range of health-related professionals.
Working with UTS Centre for Local Government on updating Courses, including a bold move - integrating White Paper Strategic Planning Framework with the Local Government IP&R Framework. Also, advising the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
Shoalhaven CCB Forum
Facilitator for this half-day session (Saturday March 23), with representatives of the Community Consultative Bodies (CCB) and Council (Councillors and senior staff), to discuss improving the relationship. Formal presentations and general discussion. Positive vibes. Working on the Overview of Proceedings now.
Planning for health and well-being
A series of successful HBEP sessions with Susan Thompson at Penrith Panthers with health professionals: how the Planning system can assist in the provision of supportive environments for community health and well-being.
Number 5 in our 10 locations across the State in 2013.
Back to Work
Great view from home, thanks to Davey Hockney and Joan Wellings.
After a Xmas break its back on: gearing up for my favourite job (UNSW Professional Practice) and the HBEP Healthy Planning travelling show (with Susan Thompson).....and waiting for the proposed Planning Bill!
Yass Shire Visit
The Mayor Rowena Abbey at the Strategic Planning Workshop with Yass Councillors, as part of their Community Strategic Plan review.
We shared a lively discussion and covered a range of local and regional concerns.
LSPS training – Central Mid-west/ Orama
The latest in the UTS Roadshow for the DPand E. Two good days with Neil Selmon. The first for me in the non-metro areas. Timing much better, compared to the short deadline in Sydney (with the GSC's Assurance Regime.