Rob Stokes will be sworn in as the new Minister for Planning and Public Spaces in NSW following the Coalition’s win in the state election in March.
Stokes, the member for Pittwater, has served in the state parliament since 2007 and was the state’s Minister for Planning from 2015 to 2017. He was then made Minister for Education under Premier Gladys Berejiklian in 2017. Prior to these posts he was the environment and heritage minister.
As planning minister, Stokes oversaw the establishment of the Greater Sydney Commission, the introduction the Apartment Design Guide (a refresh of the Residential Flat Design Code or SEPP65), and an introduction of a new object to planning legislation that promotes the value of good design.
Before entering politics, Stokes worked as a lawyer with a focus on planning and environmental law.
The public spaces portfolio was created in February to “identify and protect publicly owned land for use as parks and public spaces” and to enhance and expand the state’s parks, gardens and open spaces.
The announcement was accompanied by $150 million in funding toward improved parklands across urban areas.