Yass Valley Council’s newly-appointed director of planning and environment said she is looking forward to a new challenge.

Julie Rogers joined the council on July 6 and brings 25 years of planning experience with her.

She was previously at Edward River Council in Deniliquin, in the Riverina region. There she was the manager of planning and environmental services for eight years and town planner for nearly eight years before that.

Yass Valley Council’s general manager, Chris Berry, said Mrs Rogers was selected from a competitive recruitment process.

“We felt Julie was a good fit for the organisation – she brings a wealth of NSW planning experience to the table. She seems to have slotted into the organisation very well and has been getting up to speed on several very challenging projects in her first couple of weeks. We’re very pleased she is on deck and hit the ground running,” Mr Berry said.

Mrs Rogers has also worked in town planning at Nambucca Valley Council, Bayside Council, Georges River Council and Armidale Regional Council.

She said she was attracted to Yass Valley’s location and the changes the council is undergoing.

“I was excited by the opportunity to provide leadership in a council that is undergoing significant change, particularly through urban growth, and the location of Yass, which is centrally located. The region brings us closer to our family and major centres such as Canberra and Sydney,” Mrs Rogers said.

The director of planning and environment will be across the major Parkwood development, which proposes 5000 new homes in the Yass Valley near the ACT border. The approval to rezone the land for the Parkwood development was given by the NSW Government last weekend.

Mrs Rogers said she was looking forward to getting to know the council, community and her portfolio, which includes planning, building, the environment, health and compliance.

“I am looking forward to meeting people through the council committees and getting to know some of the key players in terms of development in the Yass Valley,” Mrs Rogers said.

Long-term, Mrs Rogers hopes to improve the council’s planning processes, including development application processing times.

“The ultimate goal is always making development and planning processes as straightforward as possible – making it easy for the community to lodge a development application and understand the process,” Mrs Rogers said.

Mrs Rogers is currently living in the Yass Valley, while her husband and children will move to the area later this year.

She said she was grateful for the warm welcome she has received from the community so far.

“I am really happy to be here, to start a new job in a council that is high performing and well respected. It is always great to take on a new challenge and I am looking forward to the next couple of years,” Mrs Rogers said.