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New NSW Planning, Industry and Environment secretary wants environment and development to make peace

Jim Betts, secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment

Brief: Jim Betts, the secretary of the newly created Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, wants to remedy the “natural tension” between development and environmental sustainability.

“If I had to come up with a rationale for the creation of the cluster, it would be about the reconciliation of a culture war which has been going on for a long time within and outside government between the ‘green’ and the ‘brown’,” he said at the Urban Taskforce lunch in Sydney.

“Our endeavour as a cluster is to ensure that we find the appropriate trade-off between a prosperous society on the one hand, and an environmentally sustainable one on the other. I don’t buy the argument that there has to be conflict between the two.”

On planning, he wants to see local government “look beyond the parochial boundaries of its municipalities” and for state government to treat local government as an “equal partner at the table.”

Read more in Government News.

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