Planning, environment and natural resources

Planning, environment and natural resources


Planning Assessment Commission determinations

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) was established in 2008 as an independent body under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. It makes decisions on major development applications where either local council objects to the proposal, more than 25 public submissions have been made, or a reportable political donation has been declared. Around half the applications referred to the PAC relate to mining or the resources sector, with the remaining relating to urban development.

This audit will assess the extent to which the Planning Assessment Commission’s decisions on major development applications are made in a consistent and transparent manner. The audit will answer the following questions:

  • Does the PAC have sound processes in place to help it make decisions on major development applications that are informed and made in a consistent manner?
  • Does the PAC ensure that its decisions are free from bias and transparent to stakeholders and the public?

By ‘decisions on major development applications’ we mean that the PAC is consistent in its approach, not that outcomes are consistent.

The audit will not specifically assess:

  • the appropriateness of individual decisions
  • PAC’s advice and review functions
  • the Department of Planning and Environment's role in the planning process.

However, we may comment on these issues/areas where they affect our findings or to provide context.

Implementation of the Government’s Program Evaluation Frameworkpublished - click to read now

(See description of audit under Public administration and finance)

Mining rehabilitation security deposits

(See description of audit under Industry and economy)


  • Property Asset Utilisation Taskforce
  • Strategic Release Framework for Coal
  • Planning for new/revitalised suburbs
  • Office of Strategic Lands


  • Biosecurity risk management 
  • Recycling
  • Effectiveness of Trusts in the Planning and Environment Cluster