Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel

An Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel, known as an IHAP, is a panel of three independent expert members and a community member who assess development applications made to local Councils.

IHAPs will be mandatory for all councils in Sydney and for Wollongong City Council from March 1 2018. IHAPs are to be put in place so that the process of assessment and determination of development applications (DAs) of high value, corruption risk, sensitivity or strategic importance is transparent and accountable.

IHAPs will be responsible for determining the following development applications:

  • Conflict of interest - DAs for which the applicant or land owner is the Council, a Councillor, a member of a Councillor’s family, a member of Council staff (where involved in DAs), or a state or federal Member of Parliament. (There are some exceptions for minor DAs from this criteria).
  • Contentiousness – DAs that receive 10 or more objections from different households.
  • Strategic Importance – DAs accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement.
  • Departure from development standards – DAs seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard.
  • High-risk development types – DAs associated with a higher risk of corruption:
    • residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65
    • demolition of heritage items
    • licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises
    • designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.


Camden Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel

Stuart McDonald
Penny Holloway - Alternate
Michael Mantei - Alternate

Expert Members
Mary-Lynne Taylor - Primary
Grant Christmas – Primary
Sue Francis - Alternate
Rachel Harrison - Alternate
Michael File – Alternate.

Community Members
Bill Rooney – Primary Central Ward
Keith Hart – Alternate Central Ward
Dean Boone – Primary North Ward
Steve Lyons – Alternate North Ward
Debby Dewbery –Primary South Ward
Mary-Anne Strickling – Alternate South Ward