Environment Panel Advisory Paper for the Greater Sydney Commission

This independent Advisory Paper reflects the position of the Environment Panel established by the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) and Total Environment Centre. The Panel is comprised of peak community, professional and academic organisations from a wide range of fields with an interest in a sustainable and liveable city.

These organisations appreciate the opportunity to be involved in helping articulate the community’s voice on the importance of the environment in metro and district planning and utilised science and planning research and practice to inform its considerations.

Panel members believe that the natural, heritage and local character environments of Sydney have not been given an adequate level of consideration in previous planning processes. In particular the lack of recognition of the multiple economic and social benefits provided by ecological services.

Panel members are also of the view that the creation of the GSC, with its unique structure of three Environment, Social and Economic Commissioners, underpinned by meaningful community consultation, and research offers an opportunity to remedy this situation.

The Paper aims to provide a key document to assist in benchmarking the draft District Plans, which will guide the future sustainable development and environmental management of Sydney. It provides strategic information and advice about the key environmental issues which Sydney faces, recognising the diversity of social and economic values associated with these issues, and provides suggested metrics by which to assess and review their outcomes over time.

These issues need to be considered at building, district and regional levels, when the planning policies and instruments, that will regulate new development, infrastructure projects and the retrofitting of the existing urban fabric are developed. The cumulative impacts of individual actions in relation to these issues must also be accounted for.

We understand this Paper is not the only input to the development of Sydney’s future planning and the direction towards ecologically sustainable development over a 20 year timeframe. However given the GSC’s principal objectives, of enabling environmental and social sustainability, we envisage the complementary involvement of other participants and contributions.

We look forward to an effective and forward looking result that achieves liveability and sustainability, as well as productivity. The Panel is available to continue to assist.



The document was prepared by the following Consulting Partners:

Sydney Peri-Urban Network (SPUN)
100 Resilient Cities
The National Trust of Australia (NSW)
CRC Low Carbon Living Ltd, University of NSW
Committee for Sydney
Sydney Coastal Councils Group Inc
National Parks Association of NSW
Nature Conservation Council
Youth Action
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA NSW)
Sydney Institute Marine Science, (SIMS)
Environmental Defenders Office NSW
Better Planning Network
Stormwater NSW
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)
Institute of Sustainable Futures
Total Environment Centre