DUAL ROLES: Planning Institute of Australia president Brendan Nelson.
DUAL ROLES: Planning Institute of Australia president Brendan Nelson. NSW Planning and Environment

No conflict in president's dual roles: Planning Institute

THE Planning Institute of Australia has dismissed reports questioning the impartiality of its president Brendan Nelson as "politically motivated muck-raking".

Mr Nelson (no relation to the former Liberal Party leader of the same name) was until recently the deputy secretary of growth, design and programs at the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment.

He now holds a position at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The Sunday Telegraph last weekend reported comments from Commercial and Economic Planning Association executive director Martin Musgrave, who said as long as Mr Nelson held an official position with the PIA there would be a perception there could be a conflict of interest.

The Commercial and Economic Planning Association is a lobby group for small and medium developers.

PIA chief executive David Williams on Monday said the notion there could be a conflict of interest would be "laughable if it were not so serious".

"PIA's agenda - indeed its only motivation - is community-centric," Mr Williams said.

"We champion good planning as the vehicle for securing improved community outcomes and for ensuring our cities, towns and regions become more resilient, sustainable and liveable.

"Like many professional associations, PIA seeks industry sponsors to help underwrite the costs of staging events and conferences for planners."


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