Planning and Approval Lead

Job No: PEAK346
Location: Cairns

Planning and Approvals Lead

  • Make this Role Your Own and Enjoy a Unique Perspective in Tropical North QLD
  • World Renown Natural Environment
  • A Generous Six Figure Salary + Super + Relocation Assistance will be negotiated with the successful candidate

About Cairns

The gateway to Queensland's tropical north, Cairns is a laid-back city best enjoyed outdoors. Some describe it as paradise as it's where the rainforest meets the reef. 

Situated on the edge of the Coral Sea, Cairns is billed as the world's safest tropical city. It's modern and stylish with elegant restaurants, shops and nightlife. Cairns is enfolded by the rainforest-draped hills of the Great Dividing Range. Several idyllic tropical white sandy bays are to be found to the north of the city, while Kuranda and the Tablelands provide another area to explore. This is tropical Australia: romantic palm-fringed beaches, steaming rainforest and the legendary outback coupled with modern luxuries and unforgettable adventures.

Cairns epitomises Australia's laid-back and casual lifestyle. The Australian tropics are spectacular in their diversity, offering stunning environmental treasures and exhilarating adventure opportunities. The Great Barrier Reef is  the world's largest marine park and Tropical North Queensland is home to not one but two natural phenomena. As well as the famed GBR there's the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest around Daintree and Cape Tribulation. 

About Council 

The Cairns Regional Council area is located in Far North Queensland, about 1,700 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, and 350 kilometres north of the Townsville CBD and is bounded by Douglas Shire in the north, the Coral Sea and Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire in the east, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council area in the south, and the Tablelands Regional Council area and Mareeba Shire in the west.

Operating a budget of more than $312 million (2020/21) and a Capital Works Program worth $181 million, Cairns Regional Council is a significant local economic driver.  It is also one of the region's largest employers with a workforce of approximately 1250 staff. 

Queensland is the fastest growing state in Australia and the most regionalised. The Queensland Government has developed an active regional planning program to address land use planning issues at a regional level, and prepare regional communities for the challenges of rapid population growth, climate change and oil vulnerability. While managing urban growth is a key focus, the FNQ Regional Plan also addresses various rural and natural resource management issues with a land use planning component. The regional vision for Far North Queensland is for a stronger, more liveable and sustainable community, where:

  • the region’s outstanding biodiversity and stunning landscape features are valued and protected.
  • residents of Far North Queensland have a strong sense of community and feel safe, happy, healthy and able to enjoy a relaxed tropical lifestyle in a range of settings from urban to rural.
  • The region continues to grow in prosperity and attracts national and international residents and visitors who seek a variety of lifestyle, employment, investment and holiday choices
  • The economy is vibrant, robust and diverse, firmly based on the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
  • Cairns forms the heart of an efficient and sustainable settlement pattern that protects natural, cultural and agricultural values, and addresses the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is supported by high level infrastructure, facilities and services. The Traditional Owners of the region and their cultural values are acknowledged and respected and people are well educated, well informed and resilient to the anticipated impacts of climate change and oil vulnerability.

You can access the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 HERE

The Opportunity

Cairns Regional Council are working hard to build a vibrant city, maintain their enviable tropical lifestyle and ensure the city will thrive, be sustainable and attractive into the future. The lifestyle opportunities, weather, career development and growth are some reasons why working for here may be the best decision you could make. Joining a regional Council will allow you more autonomy and responsibility than larger Councils allowing you to establish yourself as a key representative to the local planning and development industry.

Managing rather than responding to growth, protecting the natural resources, and ensuring the region’s outstanding biodiversity and stunning landscape features are valued and protected will underpin everything you do.

The Position

Reporting to the Manager Strategic Planning and Approvals you will have a team of 3 direct reports and an overall team of 17. Contributing organisationally through capable technical leadership, skilful facilitation, and excellent stakeholder engagement your key responsibilities include:

  • Deciding development applications as Council’s delegate;
  • Being the point of contact for escalation of internal and external stakeholders on development matters;
  • Ensuring consistency of planning decisions in the context of the Cairns Plan 2016;
  • Maintain strong working relationships with industry;
  • Responsible for business planning and delivering new strategic initiatives that improve customer service outcomes;
  • Support team development, coaching and mentoring

You will be able to make the role your own and support the team through being an integral point of contact for developers, state agencies and other stakeholders.

About you

Coordinating the team managing planning and engineering approvals you will embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively with the community ensuring a dynamic future for Cairns residents; promote and support a positive organisational culture and be committed to excellence in a stimulating, supportive and diverse work environment.

Whilst tertiary qualifications in town planning are required, demonstrated strong team leadership and stakeholder engagement skills are the most critical skills for the role. .

You will have a strong mix of constructive people management, coaching and technical expertise along with sound financial management skills as Council adapt their services to meet the changing needs of the community, organisation, and workforce.

Renowned for your overall intellect, passion for urban planning and building and for being a ‘team player’ you are self-motivated and flexible and a good communicator who easily engages with a range of stakeholders. To be successful in this role you will have a proven ability to be well organised and able to confidently prioritise the work requirements of the department. Underpinning this will be a high level of confidence dealing with stakeholder’s, developers, and the broader community.

Why this Role?

If you feel you can be passionate about the role you can play in co-ordinating and enabling the department’s planning and engineering approvals to be carried out to the highest level, then this is a great position and opportunity to join a progressive and supportive Council where you can truly make your mark.

Aspirations to leverage yourself further and (understandably this will be based on performance) and to have the opportunity to be across every aspect in a Regional Council’s Planning and Environment department make this an opportunity not to be missed.

For those considering a ‘sea change’ this could be your chance to enjoy life away from the daily commute and to enjoy all the benefits of living in a truly unique coastal location where work/life balance is genuinely possible. The organisation is very ‘family-friendly’ and flexible hours are genuinely supported by management.

If we have piqued your interest and you would love to live and work in this unique tropical region – then call to discuss what could be a genuine, career enhancing opportunity.

How to Apply

PEAK Services is working in conjunction with Cairns Regional Council on this position. We offer local government expertise across a wide range of professional fields, providing tailored solutions for councils and other similar organisations. We work with our clients to deliver meaningful outcomes in recruitment and contracting services. 

Please be aware that you cannot submit your application without attaching your resume.  A cover letter is not mandatory, but may be added if so desired. When uploading your Resume or documents please ensure file names should only include 'A-z', '0-9', '.' and '-' characters.

PLEASE NOTE: Once you have commenced your application you cannot save and continue at a later stage. 

Applications will close at 10pm on Sunday 7th March 2021

For a confidential conversation, please call Rona Horsfall on 0438 943854 at Peak Services Recruitment.


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