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The Planning and Environment Cluster was formed in April 2014.


The vision for the Department and the Cluster is:

To enrich the lives of people in NSW through our work on high quality planning, housing delivery, great design, culture, clean environments, wildlife protection and energy security

About our cluster

The Planning and Environment Cluster advises:

  • Anthony Roberts the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing, and Special Minister of State
  • Don Harwin the Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities and Minister for the Arts
  • Gabrielle Upton, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Heritage


Our people can be found working in the Department of Planning and Environment or our closely affiliated agencies:


Our main offices are in Sydney. Other offices are located throughout NSW including Parramatta, Dubbo, Gosford, Grafton, Jindabyne, Newcastle, Queanbeyan, Tamworth and Wollongong.


Executive team

The Department’s structure reflects our priorities and goals:

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Carolyn McNally


Carolyn has extensive experience in public sector reform, corporate governance and the leadership of major capital infrastructure initiatives. 
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Brett Whitworth

Deputy Secretary (Acting)
Planning and Design

Brett is a long-term Sydney resident, with a passion for the regional areas of NSW. He has more than 26 years of experience in the planning system, primarily in the State government, and has worked in local government and the private sector. A collaborator and a strategic thinker, Brett has worked across a diversity of policy, strategic and statutory planning, development assessment and regional planning teams. 
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Alison Frame

Deputy Secretary
Policy and Strategy

Alison is well-recognised for her contributions to public policy at federal and state government levels and brings to the Department a customer-focused perspective on planning and environmental issues.
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Marcus Ray

Deputy Secretary
Planning Services

Marcus has more than 20 years' experience in planning and natural resources in NSW Government. Marcus has been at the executive level in NSW Government for 15 years, focusing on service delivery and planning policy and reform. He was a lawyer in private practice for seven years before starting with government.

Simon Officer

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Simon has expertise in the design and implementation of finance, human resources, payroll, procurement and reporting systems across a variety of not-for-profit and private sector organisations
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James Hebron

Deputy Secretary Legal Services

James has extensive experience as a General Counsel leading large teams, and most recently led the delivery of legal services and advice for Sumitomo Corporation, a multinational trading and investment firm that operates in mining, energy, agriculture and commodities. He has previously worked for Gridex Power, Woodside Energy and the University of Sydney, and as a Managing Partner in private practice.
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Lee Shearer

Deputy Secretary Resource Regulator

Coordinator General for the Central Coast

Following a career in the NSW Police Force as Director for Legal Services and Assistant Commissioner, Lee's focus turned to the resources sector. As Chief Compliance Officer, she established the NSW Resources Regulator in July 2016 to ensure a consistent and responsive regulatory approach.
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Liz Develin

Deputy Secretary Energy
Water and Portfolio Strategy

Liz has more than 20 years' experience in state and local government, NGOs and the academic sector. She has extensive experience in program delivery, capital planning, program evaluation, communications and strategic planning.

Alex O'Mara

Deputy Secretary
Create NSW

Alex is a senior executive with a proven record in leading the delivery of multi-dimensional projects and complex stakeholder engagement across a range of sectors, including industry, water, insurance, planning and environment. Alex began her career as a private sector lawyer after graduating second in order of merit from the University of Sydney with first class honours. Alex has a degree in arts (literature) and a Masters in Administrative Law and Policy.
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Gary White

Chief Planner

Gary is a proven leader in strategic and statutory planning and visionary in his role as the Chief Planner for NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Before joining the Department in 2015, Gary held senior planning roles in the Queensland State and Local Government as well as private enterprise.
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Michael Wright

Deputy Secretary (Acting)
Resources and Geoscience

Michael Wright leads the Division of Resources and Geoscience as Acting Deputy Secretary. He joined the Division from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) where he led the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as Executive Director Park Programs. He has 20 years of executive level experience in the NSW public sector, including as Acting Chief Executive, OEH, Deputy Chief Executive, NPWS and Executive Director, Maritime.

Page last updated: 26/03/2019