Michael Cassel has been appointed as the acting CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority, which has been set up as part of the NSW Government’s response to the independent Flood Inquiry.
Mr Cassel is currently the Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and will continue in this role, while also holding the role as acting CEO of the Authority.
The Public Service Commission has commenced a recruitment process to fill the role of the CEO of the Authority on a permanent basis. It is anticipated that this process will be complete in early 2023.
With the announcement of the acting CEO, Resilience NSW staff will transition into the NSW Reconstruction Authority and other NSW Government agencies. This builds on the recommendations of the Flood Inquiry.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority is a statutory corporation reporting to the Minister for Planning, and the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery.
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, Anthony Roberts said the Authority would focus on better preparing NSW communities against future disasters and building more resilient places that will protect lives and property.
“Michael Cassel is the right choice to start setting up the Authority, which will build on the work done by Resilience NSW to date. Mr Cassel’s proven ability to achieve outcomes that meet the communities expectations and build consensus is well documented,” Mr Roberts said.
“He also has the added benefit of having served as a professional NSW firefighter for 15 years. He led the NSW Government’s social housing agency through a significant change period, and more recently has led the refocusing of the Planning cluster during a time of increased pressure on the system.
“The Authority’s remit represents a new and unique alignment between disaster and strategic planning, which does not currently exist. This new alignment will be an integral part of how we design our future cities and respond to the increased challenges in existing areas.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke said establishing the Reconstruction Authority marks a new approach to natural disaster preparedness and recovery in NSW.
“While our emergency services organisations continue to lead the response to natural disasters, the new Reconstruction Authority will focus on the crucial tasks of long-term rebuilding and risk mitigation,” Ms Cooke said.
“Resilience NSW staff, led by Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, have worked incredibly hard this year to support flood-impacted communities across our State. Commissioner Fitzsimmons has worked tirelessly for the people of NSW for more than 30 years, and I want to sincerely thank him and his entire team for their work.
“There will be ongoing support for Resilience NSW staff throughout the transition process. The ongoing flood recovery across the State remains our top priority and we won’t stop working to make sure communities get back on their feet.”
The NSW Government is working to transition Resilience NSW’s functions, staff and budgets in a way that will maximise the Government’s response and recovery capability in the current storm season.