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‘Great sadness’: Senior environment official bemoans staff demotion

In the message to staff seen by the Herald, Mr Betts said Ms Levy would remain “an employee of our department and part of my leadership team”, but would be taking extended leave.

Mr Betts thanked Ms Levy for “the significant contribution” she had made as co-ordinator-general since taking on the role last April, without detailing why Ms Levy was demoted.

Jim Betts, secretary of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, said the departure of Anissa Levy was "a source of great sadness".

Jim Betts, secretary of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, said the departure of Anissa Levy was “a source of great sadness”.Credit:Public Service Commission

Insiders say Ms Levy had clashed with Matt Kean, the Energy and Environment Minister, including over department priorities.

Mr Kean last week thanked Ms Levy for her service. Ms Levy said she was on leave and unable to comment.

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“Anissa’s departure from EES is a source of great sadness to me and, I’m sure, to many people across [the department]”, Mr Betts said.

“Anissa was instrumental in establishing the foundations for the EES Group,” and had “overseen many achievements that take us towards a more sustainable and resilient NSW”, he said.

Mr Betts confirmed Tracy Mackey, the EPA’s new chief executive, would serve in Ms Levy’s role for the next two weeks, with all other EES leadership roles remaining unchanged.

The department expects to begin “a merit-based recruitment” to replace Ms Levy “in the coming weeks”, Mr Betts said in message to staff.

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