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City of Swan executive manager of planning and development Steven Tan.

Tan departs after 17 years with City

THE City of Swan will lose a wealth of experience later this month with executive manager of planning and development Steven Tan retiring.

After starting his first planning job at the Shire of Kalamunda in January 1972, Mr Tan has subsequently spent 48 years in local government with Kalamunda, the City of Nedlands and finally the City of Swan.

Mr Tan began his time at the City of Swan in 2003, first as manager of statutory planning, before moving in to his current role nine years later.

“I’ve always been passionate about my role as a planner,” Mr Tan told Echo News.

“In my view, you can be a consultant and make a lot of money or you can work for local government, working for the community’s interests.

“It’s about building communities and places that last.

“If you don’t do it right, you can create social issues in the long term.”

After 48 years in planning, Mr Tan believes the biggest change in planning has been a shift of balance.

“In this time, there have been significant shifts in planning and local development,” he said.

“Some of the main things I’ve observed include the gradual shift of decision making from local to state government, more prescriptive planning regulations and increased focus on sustainability and amenity.”

While he plans to spend more time with his granddaughters and family, Mr Tan hasn’t ruled out pursuing other roles.

“I might consider nominating for a role on a committee like the Joint Development Assessment Panel.

“It would be great to be considered as a member for the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

“I may even look into mentoring young planners via the Planning Institute of Australia, who knows?”

The City advertised Mr Tan’s position through seek.com, however the advertisement has since been removed.

With the pending retirement of chief executive Mike Foley and Mr Tan, the City will lose half a decade of experience from its executive management team.

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