Lucy Turnbull will now report directly to Gladys Berejiklian

By The Mandarin

June 27, 2018

Presumably Lucy Turnbull has no difficulty getting anyone in Australian politics on the phone. But just in case there was any doubt, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has removed the ministerial intermediary.

The Greater Sydney Commission will be elevated to report directly to the New South Wales Premier from July 1, the state government announced on Tuesday.

It’s part of a reframing of the commission’s purpose as the government seeks to shape Sydney as three, integrated and connected cities, following the adoption of the Greater Sydney Region Plan and five Districts Plans.

The chief commissioner of the GSC, former Sydney lord mayor Lucy Turnbull — and, one can’t ignore, the other official occupant of the prime minister’s residence in Canberra — is hardly a stranger to the centre of government decision making. Yet that moot obstacle is the state reason for the shift, according to yesterday’s announcement from Berejiklian’s office:

“We are turning the vision of Greater Sydney as a connected metropolis of three cities into a reality,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Reporting directly to the Premier will ensure the Commission is front and centre of Government decision making.”

The Commission will provide independent advice, strategic oversight and co-ordination across Government agencies, as well as provide assurance that good outcomes are being delivered. This will include a focus on delivering a more liveable Greater Sydney, through the planning of the Western Sydney City Deal and the new Aerotropolis, to be centred around the new Western Sydney Airport.

The move puts the commission on the same level as Infrastructure NSW.

Turnbull described the move as a “natural evolution for the Commission”.

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