Planning authority board to drive delivery of City Plan

An expanded Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) board with a wealth of development, economic and governance expertise has been appointed to guide the body’s governance and strategy, ensuring it effectively manages Melbourne’s growth to 2050.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy today announced the appointment of Brian Haratsis, Laurinda Gardner, Freya Marsden and former Minister Theo Theophanous to the MPA board for the next three years. The quartet will join Chairman Chris Banks AM and fellow incumbents Leonie Hemingway (Deputy Chair) and Bill Kusznirczuk, who have been reappointed for a further three years.

“The Metropolitan Planning Authority has a significant role in the management of Melbourne’s growth over the coming decades and building on the success of the previous board is important for the ongoing health of the MPA,” Mr Guy said.

“Brian Haratsis, Laurinda Gardner, Freya Marsden and Theo Theophanous each bring strong senior executive experience and a depth of understanding of the role of the MPA that is required at this critical time, and will complement the skills and experience of reappointed board members Chris Banks, Leonie Hemingway and Bill Kusznirczuk.

“Authority chairman Chris Banks played a key role in the establishment of the former Growth Areas Authority (GAA), which became the MPA in October 2013, and will continue to provide strong leadership and expertise gained from more than 50 years in the development industry.”

Mr Guy thanked retiring MPA board members Ian Munro and Di Fleming for their significant contribution to Victoria’s planning and development.

“Ian and Di have contributed a combined 13 years of service to the development of Melbourne’s growth areas and to the early work to implement the key actions of Plan Melbourne as members of the former GAA and for the first eight months of the MPA. Both Ian and Di were an integral part of the establishment of the MPA and helped translate Plan Melbourne into outcomes on-the-ground.”

Mr Guy said the energy and expertise of the MPA board would help drive positive planning, development and economic outcomes through the implementation of Plan Melbourne.

“The revised MPA board has a wealth of strategic planning experience and commercial acumen and I look forward to working with the board and Chief Executive Officer Peter Seamer to implement the 79 key actions assigned to the MPA and to retain Melbourne’s status as the world’s most liveable city,” Mr Guy said.

“The new board members add more than 100 years of high level experience to the board.

“Mr Theophanous, an economist by trade, has extensive experience in public policy and served as a senior State Government Minister. His experience is well suited to the MPA board.

“Mr Haratsis is an economist and future strategist who has more than 30 years’ experience in providing detailed advice to governments and major corporate clients throughout Australia.

“Ms Gardner brings skills and expertise in corporate governance and strategic planning as a former senior government executive in the Victorian Public Service, while Ms Marsden is an expert in strategic policy, economics and public relations who has previously held senior positions within the Commonwealth Treasury and in Victoria with the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the former Department of Infrastructure.”

Source: News Release Planning Minister Matthew Guy, 08 July 2014

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