A panel of 100 experts in design has been charged with improving the quality of the built environment in New South Wales as the Planning Minister in that state takes a friendly swipe at his Treasurer colleague, whom he says ‘has not been selected’ for the panel.

In his latest announcement, NSW Minister for Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said a State Design Review Panel has been appointed to advise on State Significant development, infrastructure projects and precincts.

The panel’s appointment follows a pilot program launched in 2018, which guided the development of more than 100 public and private projects worth almost $9 billion.

The panel consists of 88 independent members with expertise across areas such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, Aboriginal and European heritage and sustainability along with 12 State Government design champions.

It will advise on ‘state significant’ projects – projects which are deemed to have state significance on account of their size, economic value or social/environmental impact.

Projects such as the Meadowbank Education & Employment Precint (above) and the Gibbons Street housing project (top) were guided by the pilot program for the NSW State Design Review Panel.

In a statement, Stokes welcomed the announcement of the new panel.

“Iconic buildings and structures like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge put Sydney on the map and it’s so important that we maintain design excellence with our new projects,” he said.

NSW Government Architect Abbie Galvin said the panel will help to shape state design at a time of significant investment in infrastructure and the Government’s commitment to creating greener places and attractive public spaces.

In his statement, Stokes took a friendly swipe at colleague Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, whom ‘has not been selected for the Design Review Panel’.

This follows friendly banter between the two after Perrottet publish an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about ten iconic buildings he would bulldoze.

“NSW residents will also be relieved to note that the Treasurer Dom Perrottet has not been selected for the Design Review Panel,” Stokes said.