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Alternate members

Planning Panel Boundaries and Members

Hunter & Central Coast Regional Planning Panel

The Chair of the Hunter & Central Coast Regional Planning Panel is Alison McCabe.


Alison has over 35 years of experience in statutory and strategic planning for State and Local Government sectors and in private practice. She has worked at Cessnock, Rockdale, Woollahra and North Sydney Council, and also at the then Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. Prior to establishing SJB Planning NSW in 2005 in conjunction with Stuart McDonald, Alison held the position of Director, Environmental and Community Management with Leichhardt Council.

Alison has been appointed the Chair for the Hawkesbury Council and Canada Bay Council Local Planning Panels, and Alternate Chair and Member for the Wollongong Council Local Planning Panel. Alison was also a long-standing State appointed member of the Southern Regional Planning Panel for 10 years.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New England, a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law from Sydney University and has lectured on planning-related matters at Sydney’s University of Technology and the University of New South Wales.

State Members

Roberta Ryan

Professor Roberta Ryan is an expert in public policy and administration, urban governance, comparative planning systems, development delivery and community engagement. Her leadership positions in academia, and the private and non-government sectors have covered all aspects of the planning system including community and strategic land use planning, development assessment and statutory appeal processes, and major project delivery.  

Roberta is nationally recognised for her expertise in mediating and facilitating shared outcomes that meet both governments’ and stakeholders’ shared objectives in the delivery of land use planning solutions in contested environments. She is widely acknowledged for her thought leadership in engaging and bringing together diverse views in sensitive stakeholder environments.   

With this expertise, Roberta has been a trusted advisor to federal, state and local governments and major public and private enterprises on their development and delivery of strategy, policy, major initiatives and reform. This includes her current ministerial appointments as the Community Commissioner for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Orchard Hills.  

She currently serves on the Hunter and Central Coast Planning Panel as the Lake Macquarie City Council representative and is an alternate state member for Sydney and regional planning panels. Roberta has previously been a member of the Sydney Eastern and Sydney Central planning panels.   

Anthony McNamara

Tony has been involved in Planning and Local Government for over 40 years. He has held the role of Chief  Director at Wollondilly Shire, Hastings Council (now City of Port Macquarie -Hastings Council) and the City of Canada Bay. Because of the broad span of control required of senior positions in local government, Tony’s understanding of planning goes well beyond buildings and land subdivision, and encompasses the assessment and delivery of essential services to communities in both established and growing regions.

Tony also spent several years at a senior level at an environmental consultancy (Environmental Resources Management) dealing with environmental impact assessment of significant infrastructure projects including main road upgrades, transmission line installations and development proposals for residential and commercial projects.

He has been a member of the Port Macquarie Hastings Local Planning Panel since 2021 and alternate Community Member on the North Coast Regional Planning Panel.  

Tony was a committee member of the NSW Division of the Planning Institute of Australia, including a term as Division President. As a North Coast member of the Institute Tony was a member of the NSW Coastal Council. As an early implementer of the Standard Template LEP at Canada Bay Council, Tony assisted the NSW Department of Planning in its roll out of the Template including consultation with Councils around NSW and addressing issues of local concern.

His qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts from UNSW; Master of Environmental and Local Government Law, Macquarie University; Post Grad Diploma in Urban Studies, Macquarie University; Post-Graduate Diploma in Local Government Studies Mitchell CAE, and Local Government Certificate as Town and Country Planner.

Last updated: 02/03/2023