Skip to main content
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Share:

The NSW Government is calling on relevant experts to express their interest in becoming a chair or panel member for the recently introduced Independent Hearing Assessment Panels (IHAPs) that will become mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong City Council.


Introduced as a measure against corruption, IHAPs will bring expertise, transparency and integrity to the assessment and determination of high-value development applications (DAs).


Deputy Secretary, Planning Services, Marcus Ray said the new IHAPs will maintain a standard model comprising three independent expert members and a local community member.


“The Department is committed to creating great places and communities for NSW and the introduction of mandatory IHAPs for all Sydney councils and Wollongong City Council will allow us to do just that,” Mr Ray said.


“We are calling upon our experts to get involved and apply to be a panel member of an IHAP.”


IHAP members must be an expert in one or more of the following fields: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism, or government and public administration.


The chair must have expertise in law or government and public administration.


“A number of councils in Sydney and Wollongong City Council are already using IHAPs on a voluntary basis and have experienced great outcomes,” Mr Ray said.


“We have seen better planning outcomes as development applications are determined on their technical merit by qualified experts, in line with the planning controls that apply in the local area.”


The panel members themselves will be subject to statutory rules such as a compulsory code of conduct and operational procedures.


More information on selection criteria.


Experts interested in applying to become a member of IHAPs are invited to attend an information session on:

  • Tuesday 5 September, 3-4pm at Primus Hotel, 339 Pitt Street, Sydney; and
  • Wednesday 6 September, 4-5pm, Parramatta Novotel, 350 Church Street, Parramatta


For more information and to book your place at the information session, please call 02 8217 2061 or email


Applications close on 17 September 2017.

Media release download