Sean O’Toole

21 January 2013 – UrbanGrowth NSW, the re-invented government land agency that premier Barry O’Farrell once quipped would be “Landcom on steroids”, will in June lose long term managing director Sean O’Toole after 17 years heading up the state development agency.

The announcement was made last week, at around the same time that former Stockland national business development manager Julian Frecklington joined as general manager, urban strategy.

Mr O’Toole was the public face of Landcom for 17 years. He joined the agency in April 1996 as chief executive officer.

Chairman of UrbanGrowth NSW John Brogden said: “Under Sean’s leadership Landcom has led the industry in design, quality, sustainability and affordability.

“He was responsible for taking Landcom into partnerships with the private sector and led the way in ensuring Landcom was delivering projects of state significance and delivering upon the Government’s Metropolitan Strategy.

“The next five years requires a consolidation and delivery of the new business model. Sean is looking to retire from full-time work soon, so this is a challenge and opportunity for someone new”, Mr Brogden said.

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard said: “Sean brought the Government’s vision for UrbanGrowth NSW to life whilst ensuring Landcom remained on target in delivering on the Government’s 10,000 housing lots program.

“I am hopeful that Sean’s expertise can be retained through other part time opportunities in the government and or private sector.”

Mr O’Toole said he would like to stay involved in the industry, “as it has become a big part of my life.”

Mr Frecklington was in his most recent role at Stockland for just more than five years and prior to this worked as development executive with Pacific Capital Partners, a solicitor with Clayton Utz and development executive with  Brookfield Multiplex.

He has a law degree and an engineering degree, both from the University of New South Wales.

One of Mr Frecklington’s new reports will be Steve Driscoll who moved across from his former role at Landcom as director, sustainability and policy to the urban strategy division of UrbanGrowth, responsible for analysing development blockage, surplus government land and infrastructure related projects.

Asked what were the major initial plans for the UrbanGrowth, general manager corporate marketing Robert Sullivan said the organisation officially started life only on 1 January and a clear direction would be evident after the 90 day mark had been reached.

He said industry suggestions that UrbanGrowth was likely to absorb other government land or place management agencies such as Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Sydney Olympic Park, perhaps in separate development and “place making” organisations, remained speculation, Mr Sullivan said.