As you can see here, the panel members from Camden are Mayor Lara Symkowiak and Peter Sidgreaves. Their alternates if they are unable to make a meeting are Therese Fedeli and Penny Fischer.
Remarkably, one of those four had recently been referred to ICAC for planning irregularities involving their house. A large story had been published in the Sydney Morning Herald just eight days before the Liberal voting bloc rammed through a vote to make them a panel member regardless of the fact that the complaint was still before ICAC.
In effect the Liberals were prepared to overlook a possible corruption inquiry based on planning to give themselves the only say in future planning that could impact the Camden Local Government Area. And of course, you have to ask if these four are the best and most experienced people for this role.
Cr Sidgreaves works in IT.
The closest Cr Symkowiak gets to fulfilling this requirement is a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) from University of Western Sydney, which was likely part of her Bachelor of International Studies done at the same time. Now, if that degree is similar to this degree currently offered by UWS, it does not include any of the areas of expertise requested by the JRRP.
According to UWS at the end of this degree: "Graduates will have a solid grounding in the relationships of societies, cultures, languages and systems of government within the international system. Students will develop their capacity to appreciate the historical development of relations among nation states and analyse contemporary political, economic, social and cultural issues such as globalisation, transnationalism and migration. Students complete a major in International Relations and Asian Studies, a sub-major in either Japanese or Chinese language, and a key program in either International Business or Marketing."
Her past roles as an accountant, amendments officer, Westpac manager and current position as Director of Injury and Occupational Health don't seem to fulfil this qualification either.
By contrast Cr Greg Warren seemed an obvious candidate with his strong and practical background in transport and logistics throughout his career. It is surprising that he was not asked to be a part of the panel. Today as the ALP Member for Campbelltown his commitments may make such a role difficult. Back then, in 2013, he did not have the same level of commitments, so unless he declined any such offer, we must assume that his expertise was discounted for some other reason.
Even real estate agent Cr Greg Copeland probably has more experience in this area than the four Liberal Councillors selected for the role although, let's be honest, putting a real estate agent into a planning position might make a few members of the Camden Community nervous. :-)
But the whole bag of tell gets really interesting when we look at the alternates on that panel. One is current Deputy Mayor Cr Therese Fedeli and the other is Cr Penny Fischer.
What makes the addition of Cr Fischer as a potential member of the planning body bizarre, at best, is her record of disregarding her neighbours in putting together her personal development plans and a referral to ICAC as a direct result of these actions. The article revealing all this was printed close to a year after she was elected to the council and literally eight days before the Liberal voting block pushed through her appointment as an alternate to the planning panel at a council meeting.
You would think an ICAC referral about planning matters would make the Liberal councillors think twice about appointing someone to be on a planning panel but, no, obviously not. I wonder if it would have been the same response if Cr Fischer was a member of another political party.
I have no idea about Cr Therese Fedeli's expertise, as she seems to have almost no online profile at all. She may be a secretary at F&T Steelfixing but it is impossible to confirm this.
By all appearances, you would have to say putting all the planning power for our region into the hands of relatively unqualified members of Camden Council while one of them is being referred to ICAC seems to be an odd approach to doing what is best for the community. But, hey, that's the way this must be the way the Liberal voting block rolls.