Robyn Parker has been announced as the Commissioner for the Central Coast.
She is one three new Commissioners who are part of the Greater Cities Commission’s planning for the Six Cities Region for the next four years.
The Greater Cities Commission on Friday announced the three new Commissioners; Ms Parker for the Central Coast, Matt Endacott for the Lower Hunter and Jackie Johnson for the Illawarra Shoalhaven City.
“These appointments come at an important time for the Commission as it launches its Six Cities Discussion Paper and embarks on intensive engagement to inform the Six Cities Region and City Plans to be released from 2023,” the press release said.
The Greater Cities Commission has been charged with creating Australia’s first global city region, delivering global economic scale and local liveability, according to the press release.
City Commissioners are the “connective tissue” between state and local government.
“They facilitate the conversations and empower stakeholders to set common goals for their city,” the press release states.
“As key holders of the relationships within their cities, City Commissioners ensure connectivity between the Six Cities Region Plan and their City Plans, and that the ground up work done by local government and other entities informs into the City Plans.”
Chief Commissioner Geoff Roberts acknowledged “the important role that local councils” played in the selection process.
The Commissioners will start four-year terms this month.
They join Deborah Dearing (Eastern Harbour City) and Peter Poulet (Central River City) and John Lydon (Economic Commissioner), Meg McDonald (Environment Commissioner) and Natalie Walker (Social Commissioner).
“Unified in their deep commitment to the people of their cities, this cohort of outstanding Commissioners will ensure the Six Cities vision is responsive, contemporary and at the leading edge of city shaping, with local liveability for the people of their cities at the top of their agenda,” Mr Roberts said.
Robyn Parker has a wealth of public and private sector experience spanning roles in Child and Family Services, as a TAFE teacher, and as CEO of Ageing and Disability Services, according to the Six Cities website.
Ms Parker served in the NSW Parliament for twelve years, first as a Member of the Legislative Council, followed by four years as the Member for Maitland.
She chaired many Parliamentary Inquiries and was the NSW Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage (2011-2014).
“As Environment Minister, Robyn introduced some of the toughest environmental laws in Australia and delivered the largest waste and recycling program in Australia at the time,” the website says.
“She helped create nine new parks and two new national parks while encouraging more visitors to explore the uniqueness and beauty of what NSW National Parks have to offer.”
Since leaving politics, Ms Parker has been a non-executive director to a number of conservation, agricultural, education and for-purpose organisations.
She is the Deputy Chair of the NSW Heritage Council.
What does the six cities region mean?
According to the website, the six cities vision is to accelerate the economic growth of the region, as well as NSW.
“The shift will create a globally competitive city region that has the scale to provide better jobs, housing, education, health and lifestyle opportunities for everyone,” the website states.
“This will mean more people in the six cities working within 30 minutes of where they live, increased access to homes that families can afford, more equal access to higher education and training opportunities.
“The move will deliver economic and lifestyle benefits to millions of people, supporting growth with fit-for-life infrastructure and allowing more people to enjoy our enviable waterways and natural environment.”
The six cities region comprises the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City, Central Coast City, Illawarra-Shoalhaven City, Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City.