These are just a few of the implications for the Northern Territory from the transition to net zero, as the way we power our economy shifts toward low-carbon options.
It’s a transition that Chief Executive and Managing Principal Tim Orton and the Darwin-based team at Nous Group are keen to be a part of. “
The shift to net zero is absolutely huge for businesses, governments and communities,” Tim says. “Just about every aspect of our lives will be impacted by the change, so we need to be on the front foot.”
Nous was part of Net Zero Australia, a multi-year research partnership to map out the possible pathways to net zero and examine what the transition will mean across Australia.
Part of the work looked closely at what net zero means for different parts of Australia, including the Territory. The results showed the scale of the change. It found that Northern Australia could be a key player in a new clean hydrogen export industry, producing clean energy carriers and onshoring the processing of minerals, such as iron and aluminum, using clean energy.
It also found that of the 600,000 to 750,000 new jobs across the nation many would be in regional and remote Australia, driving significant population growth. And it found that large-scale wind and solar projects would require careful management of land-use changes, factoring in the Indigenous estate, ecosystems and agriculture.
“While the scale of the transition to net zero might seem daunting, it offers enormous opportunity and new sources of growth,” Tim says. “Now is the time to think beyond dichotomies and tradeoffs, and instead start to act on decarbonisation.”
Nous brings to the task significant national expertise on the technical challenges, combined with a strong local team that understands the context in the Territory.
Nous, an international management consultancy founded in Australia, has been working in the NT for more than a decade, but first set up an office in Darwin in 2019.
“Having an office here in Darwin has been a game-changer in our ability to build relationships and attract talent locally and from other parts of the country,” Nous Principal Tom Leeming says.
To meet the needs of its growing list of clients, Nous now has 22 people based in the Top End who are headquartered in the heart of the Darwin CBD.
While the net zero transition is high on the agenda, Nous works with clients on a wide array of challenges. Its work includes undertaking sensitive stakeholder engagement, improving the performance of leaders and organisations, developing strategy and modeling economic impacts of initiatives. Territory clients include the NT Government departments of Health, Education, Attorney-General and Justice.
Playing a key role in Darwin is Nous Principal Kendra Cockburn, who for more than a decade has worked with federal and state governments on big challenges in complex policy environments.
“As Australia’s transition to net zero steps up, we expect our client’s needs will change at a faster rate than ever before,” she says.
“Building capability and transferring skills through project work is only going to become more important if we are to tackle new challenges effectively and work at the pace required to meet emission reduction targets.”
Over the past four years, the Darwin Nous team has grown seven-fold as they have broadened their capabilities and attracted top talent to meet the evolving needs of clients in the Territory.