Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
23I Independent hearing and assessment panels
(1) A council may constitute a panel of experts to assess any aspect of a development application or any planning matter referred to the panel by the council (other than a matter subject to a determination or review by a regional panel).
(2) A council must constitute a panel of experts to assess any aspect of a development application or any planning matter if an assessment by a panel is required by an environmental planning instrument.
(3) The members of a panel of experts are to consist of persons having expertise in at least 1 of planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism or government and public administration.
(4) For the purposes of an assessment, a panel may receive or hear submissions from interested persons and must submit a report to the council within the time required by the council.
(5) A panel is to exercise its functions in accordance with the regulations and any arrangements approved by the Minister. However, a panel is not subject to the direction of the Minister on the findings or recommendations in its report.
(6) The council is to provide staff and facilities for the purpose of enabling a panel to exercise its functions.
(7) A member of a panel is entitled to be paid such remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) as the Minister may from time to time determine in respect of the member.