A NSW Government website

Independent Community Commissioner

The Independent Community Commissioner page is managed separately to the WPCA website.

About the Independent Community Commissioner

Professor Roberta Ryan

Professor Roberta Ryan is the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Independent Community Commissioner (Commissioner).

Professor Ryan is widely recognised for her expertise in strategic planning in complex public policy matters related to land use, transport, infrastructure, housing, greening, recreation, and open space. She is also widely acknowledged for her leadership in engaging and bringing together diverse views in sensitive stakeholder environments.  

She was appointed to the role of Commissioner by the Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, in May 2021 to assess the issues and concerns of landowners impacted by governments’ plans and to make recommendations on the optimal way forward. The role of the Commissioner was extended by Minister Stokes and Minister Ayres in December 2021.

As Community Commissioner, Professor Ryan works closely with the community to:

  • advocate for landowners' concerns in relation to planning, land rezoning and concurrent infrastructure delivery
  • advise on planning and regulatory processes, community-centred engagement and strategic land acquisitions
  • advise on actions to assist people with environmental and other land constraints
  • connect landholders with agencies and relevant government stakeholders to provide clarity and support where necessary
  • inform and educate local landowners and planners around future development and master planning.

The Commissioner’s recommendations

Following consultation with more than 100 landowners, the Commissioner delivered her report and recommendations on a fair and equitable way forward for landowners in the Aerotropolis to the Minister for Planning in August 2021.

Read Professor Ryan’s full report (PDF, 373 KB)  and overview (PDF, 223 KB) .

The Commissioner’s recommendations were detailed and extensive. The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and the Western Parkland City Authority (WPCA), supported those recommendations where immediate action could be initiated. Read the government's initial response to the Commissioner’s recommendations which were released in August 2021.

The Aerotropolis - Responding to the Issues report was released in October 2021 and was the NSW Government’s detailed response to the Independent Community Commissioner’s recommendations.

The report also addressed feedback received during the exhibition of the Aerotropolis Planning Package and through the review and finalisation of the Aerotropolis Precinct Plan.

Read the Aerotropolis – Responding to the Issues report (PDF, 12 MB) .

The finalised planning package was released by the Minister for Planning on 25 March 2022. The package responded to:

The finalised planning package also includes the Aerotropolis Responding to the Issues Part 2 report (PDF, 14 MB)   which further outlines how the comments from the community and the recommendations of the Independent Community Commissioner have been addressed.

Professor Ryan’s appointment as the Independent Community Commissioner has been extended to oversee the recommendations and to continue to advocate for small landowners.

Community Consultative Committee

A key recommendation by the Community Commissioner was to establish a Western Sydney Aerotropolis Community Consultative Committee (CCC).

The Aerotropolis CCC builds on the work of the existing Community Liaison Group to provide an engagement forum for the community and other key stakeholders in the planning and development of the Aerotropolis.

The CCC is not a decision-making body. It provides an advisory and consultative role for small landowner representatives, local councils, the Western Parkland City Authority, the Commonwealth, and state agencies.

Members – who are largely small landowners from the Western Sydney Aerotropolis – provide advice to state, federal and local government on impacts and ways governments can support and collaborate with the community during the planning and development of the Aerotropolis.

The CCC is chaired by the Independent Community Commissioner. It meets monthly, or more often as required.

Nominations to join the CCC were called in August 2021, and the following members were appointed to represent community views across the Aerotropolis:

Minutes for each meeting are available below:

  •  Aerotropolis Core Aerotropolis Core
    • Joe Herceg - joe@centralconcreting.com.au
    • Carleen Markuse - carleenm1@aussiebroadband.com.au
    • Paul Taglioli - tag777@outlook.com.au
  • Badgerys Creek
    • Roger Moss - rogerhmoss@gmail.com
    • Diana Vukovic - jdvukovic@bigpond.com
  • Wianamatta-South Creek
    • Sam Aloi - wscrossmoreprecinct@gmail.com
    • Ross Murphy - rossmurphy2301@gmail.com
  • Agribusiness
    • Paul Buhac - ccc@luddenham.com.au
    • Wayne Wilmington - willmingtons@bigpond.com
  • Northern Gateway
    • Rob Heffernan - debheffernan@bigpond.com
    • Sascha Vukmirica - sascha@luddenhamraceway.com
  • Dwyer Road
    • Helen Anderson - sgpbringelly@outlook.com
  • Rossmore
    • Gabriella Condello - wscrossmoreprecinct@gmail.com

Landowner counselling service

A free, confidential telephone counselling service is available to all Aerotropolis landowners.

AccessEAP is an Australian owned and not-for-profit organisation that will provide landowners with general counselling, financial, and other specialist services over the phone.

If you would like to access this service, please call 1800 818 728 and advise the operator you are looking for counselling offered for the Aerotropolis landowners or mention the Independent Community Commissioner.

Aerotropolis Precinct Manager

Wendy Carlson is the Aerotropolis Precinct Manager for the Western Parkland City Authority. Wendy works closely with the Independent Community Commissioner and with construction delivery partners, local councils and government agencies working across the Aerotropolis. The role of the Precinct Manager is to ensure that community and stakeholder questions and feedback are dealt with sensitively and in a timely and coordinated manner. While it will usually be the construction place managers you hear from regarding local work impacts, Wendy can provide another channel to ensure the community’s concerns and questions are heard and answered regarding the Authority and ongoing projects within the Aerotropolis. 

The Aerotropolis Precinct Manager has the following responsibilities:

  • Work with the Independent Community Commissioner on developing and maintaining strong community stakeholder relationships
  • Act as an information concierge for community stakeholders unsure of where to find information
  • Coordinate communication across NSW Government agencies
  • Liaise closely with the following existing Australian, NSW and local government agency place managers:
    • Western Sydney Airport
    • Department of Planning
    • Transport for NSW
    • Greater Cities Commission
    • Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport
    • Liverpool City Council
    • Sydney Water
    • Penrith City Council

You can contact Wendy on Mob: 0436 690 283 Email: precinctmanager@wpca.sydney

What is happening in your area?

Check out what is happening in your area below, or click here to visit the full community projects portal, ask a question and provide feedback.

 

Frequently asked questions

Why was an Independent Community Commissioner appointed?

The transition from the existing rural and semi-rural setting into a new Parkland City requires significant changes to the existing planning controls, development and infrastructure delivery.

Landowners had expressed concerns about a lack of transparency and information on the proposals and the potential impact on their land.

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces wanted an independent person to listen to landowners, the community, councils and other stakeholders, to report on their findings and make recommendations to make sure all the issues are more fully understood to inform the planning for this new city. The Commissioner is this independent person.

How was the Community Commissioner selected?

Professor Roberta Ryan is the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Independent Community Commissioner.

Professor Ryan has been a practitioner in leading private planning and property economics firms, and an advisor to government on a range of complex public policy matters. She is recognised for her expertise in mediating and facilitating shared outcomes that meet both government and stakeholder objectives particularly in contested and sensitive environments.

Who is the Independent Community Commissioner?

Professor Roberta Ryan is the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Independent Community Commissioner.

Professor Ryan has been a practitioner in leading private planning and property economics firms, and an advisor to government on a range of complex public policy matters. She is recognised for her expertise in mediating and facilitating shared outcomes that meet both government and stakeholder objectives particularly in contested and sensitive environments.

How was the Community Commissioner selected?

A robust process overseen by a probity advisor was followed to appoint the Community Commissioner.

Candidates for the role were assessed by a panel that included representatives from the Department, Liverpool City Council, Penrith City Council and the Centre for Property Acquisition. Candidates needed to be able to act with independence in accordance with probity requirements, have engagement and listening skills, an understanding of strategic planning issues and the ability to distil findings and make recommendations. Here is a full list of the assessment criteria.

  1. Independence and probity a. Ability to act with independence and provide independent advice to landowners and government. b. Understanding of and a commitment to act in accordance with probity requirements.
  2. Engagement and listening a. Ability to connect with landowners to ascertain their concerns at small or large meetings. b. Ability to chair a cross-agency Community Advisory Service.
  3. Strategic issues a. General understanding of planning issues (note technical support will be provided by DPIE as required). b. Understanding of the role of government
  4. Reporting and recommendations a. Ability to distil findings and make recommendations to government and brief the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces on findings
  5. Availability a. Available for up to 3 days per week from mid to late April to 30 June 2021 in addition to out of hours community consultation if required.

How has the Commissioner engaged with the community?

From May to July 2021, the Commissioner met over 100 landowners to provide the community and stakeholders with an independent avenue to consider their issues and concerns and identify the areas where the government can work better with our community to deliver planning for the Aerotropolis.

Since the release of her report, the Commissioner has continued to meet with landowners and to advocate on their behalf.

How long will the Commissioner be in the role?

Professor Ryan’s appointment as the Community Commissioner has been extended to oversee the recommendations and to continue to advocate for small landowners.

Contact the Independent Community Commissioner

You can contact the Community Commissioner by emailing roberta@aerocc.com.au and kate@aerocc.com.au

You can also contact the Western Parkland City Authority on 1800 312 999 or by emailing hello@wpca.sydney.