Critical to this goal is the establishment of the Infrastructure NT Commission to strategically plan and prioritise the delivery of critical infrastructure needed to secure private sector investment and development, to deliver long-term economic prosperity and step-change the Territory’s economy.
Leading the charge of Infrastructure NT is Louise McCormick following her formal appointment to the role of Commissioner in January.
As Commissioner, she plays an integral role in ensuring the Territory builds the strategic public infrastructure needed to deliver critical job-creating projects.
Infrastructure NT works closely with the Investment and Major Projects Commissioners to secure projects and investments, and more importantly, make them happen.
“The Territory is the land of opportunity, and we provide industry with a central, solutions-driven go-to point, with the clear objective to secure and deliver major investment,” says Ms McCormick.
“Government plays a key role in delivering well planned and co-ordinated infrastructure investment to catalyse economic development, balanced with the social infrastructure needed to support that growth.
“Focussing on strategic infrastructure planning and investment will pivot the Territory towards long-term sustainable economic and population growth.”
As Australia deals with the impacts of covid-19, robust economic development has never been more crucial, and this national focus presents the Territory with the unique opportunity to re-define its strategic importance to Australia’s recovery and future success.
Ms McCormick is well placed to succeed in the role having worked in the Territory for the past 16 years, delivering some of the largest and most complex civil infrastructure upgrades.
Passionate about the Territory and its success, she continues her work through the Infrastructure NT Commission.
“Now is the time for a refocused approach to delivering strategic infrastructure planning and development to accelerate the Territory’s post-covid-19 economic rebound.”
This is a sentiment mirrored by Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew AO.
“Targeted infrastructure investment and reform in the Northern Territory will be absolutely key to developing new industries, enhancing connectivity and liveability, and supporting the national economic recovery effort,” he says.
“Louise is exceptionally well-placed to lead Infrastructure NT during this critical time.”
A key aspect of Ms McCormick’s work will be with Australian Government agencies, including with Ms Madew at Infrastructure Australia, and her position gives the Territory a seat at the table when it comes to negotiating for future nationally significant infrastructure projects.
Acting in the role since April 2021 following the establishment of Infrastructure NT, Ms McCormick has wasted no time making clear her ambitious plans for the Territory.
She is already advocating for key enabling infrastructure projects, such as the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, Darwin Regional Water Supply, Adelaide River Offstream Water Storage and the Beetaloo Sub-Basin development.
On the ground, she is charged with the delivery of a number of hallmark projects changing the face of the Territory, including the Civic and State Square redevelopment and iconic State Square Art Gallery, and the Ship Lift and Marine Industry Facilities at East Arm.
Ms McCormick is leading the development of a new Territory Infrastructure Framework, and has recently released the NT Infrastructure Framework Position Paper, which includes a new NT Infrastructure Strategy.
The NT Infrastructure Strategy sets the vision, purpose, key objectives and priority actions to provide a framework for the prioritisation and justification of Government investment in infrastructure in the Territory.
“An evolved and refocused Infrastructure Strategy is key to getting the right infrastructure built at the right time in the right place, to support productivity and economic growth across all six sustainable regions of the Territory,” Ms McCormick says.
The Territory Infrastructure Framework is informed from feedback provided through the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission process and previous work, including the Plan for Budget Repair, as well as further strategic analysis reflective of the Territory’s current position.
Work has also commenced on an NT Infrastructure Audit, Plan and Pipeline, to capture the Territory’s future infrastructure needs, contextualised by infrastructure gaps and constraints to achieving government’s goals.
“These establish where we are, where we want to be, and what’s holding us back from getting there. It will provide a dynamic snapshot monitoring our progress and ensuring it aligns, and keeps aligning with the Territory Infrastructure Strategy.”
A task fit for Ms McCormick it seems, who is the former General Manager of the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Transport and Civil Services division, and is currently the Deputy Chair of Austroads, and a Fellow of Engineers Australia.
While humbled by her appointment, the unique challenges of what lies ahead are not lost on her.
“I am very proud to take on this role given the importance it will play in shaping the Territory’s future.
“The role brings together everything I love about being an engineer, and provides an opportunity to work closely with potential investors, industry, the community and my colleagues across both the Northern Territory and Australian governments to achieve the best outcomes for the Territory.”
To read the draft NT Infrastructure Framework Position Paper and Draft Infrastructure Strategy, go to haveyoursay.nt.gov.au
COMMISSIONER OF INFRASTRUCTURE NT, LOUISE McCORMICK
Louise McCormick has over 20 years’ experience in the transport and infrastructure sectors. She is also a multi-award winning Chartered Engineer in both civil and structural engineering, as well as Chartered as an Engineering Executive.
Over the 16 years Ms McCormick has worked in the Northern Territory, she has been involved in planning, delivery and management of some of the Territory’s largest and most complex infrastructure projects and has been instrumental in securing Australian Government funding for a significant road upgrades across the Northern Territory.
McCormick represents the Northern Territory on several national boards, committees and working groups including as the Deputy Chair of Austroads, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), the Infrastructure Investment Forum and I-Body National Forum.