The Planning Commission currently has seven members who provide planning leadership and deliver professional, independent advice. The Commission strengthens links between the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority, Development Consent Authority, Heritage Council and Local Government Associations.

The Planning Commission comprises:

  • Chairperson
  • Chairpersons of the Development Consent Authority, Heritage Council and NT Environment Protection Authority
  • a representative of the Local Government Association
  • up to five additional members with appropriate qualifications and expertise appointed by the Minister, who hold office for up to two years.

The Commission membership includes the chairpersons of three bodies with statutory decision-making powers for development, providing for a greater shared understanding of the aspirations of the planning system in delivering outcomes.

Where required, the Commission can also second people on its subcommittees or engage external consultants.

Our members

Dr David Ritchie

Chairman (appointed 12 July 2017)

Profile picture - David Ritchie

Dr David Ritchie has 37 years’ experience working in the NT for organisations responsible for land management, in professional expert and also senior management and executive roles. This work includes extensive experience with statutory boards with roles under land development, land rights, and environment and heritage legislation.
For more than twenty years he has held Chief Executive roles, leading organisations responsible for land resource planning, remote service delivery, parks & wildlife, natural resource management, environment protection, Aboriginal cultural heritage and museums, art galleries and archives. Throughout his career David’s work has involved extensive work in remote regions of the NT working closely with Aboriginal communities.
David also brings the specific planning experience gained in the roles of Executive Director Lands, Chief Executive Department of Lands & Planning and Chief Executive of the NT Land Development Corporation.
David is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Anthropological Society. He is also a director of Ninti One Limited, on the board of the Northern Territory Land Corporation and Chair of the NT Grants Commission.

Dr Paul Vogel AM

Ex officio member (appointed 14 November 2016)

Profile Picture - Dr Paul Vogel, Chairperson NT EPA

Dr Paul Vogel was appointed as the chairperson of the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) on 14 November 2016.

Now a non-executive board director and strategic consultant, Paul was Chairman of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority from 2007 – 2015. Paul was also the inaugural Chief Executive and Chairman of the South Australian EPA from 2002 – 2007 and prior to that held senior executive positions in the WA Departments of the Premier and Cabinet and Environmental Protection.

Paul has a PhD in chemistry from the University of WA and has extensive knowledge and experience across a broad range of environmental issues and sustainability, in organisational and regulatory reform and in the delivery of strategic environmental and business outcomes.

Paul is also chairman of a national Cooperative Research Centre on Contamination and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE); a director of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) Australian Research Impact Advisory Board, a director of Global Aquatica (Australia) and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  He was appointed to the NT EPA from 1 January 2016.

Paul was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (AM) in 2019 for significant service to public administration through environmental leadership roles.

Suzanne Philip

Ex officio member (appointed 31 July 2017)

Image of Sue Philip DCA ChairSuzanne is the Chair of the Development Consent Authority, which is an independent statutory body responsible for determining development applications in the Territory.

Ms Philip has lived in Darwin since 1982, raising a family and contributing extensively to the Territory’s legal and business sectors and the community, from a number of platforms.

She is a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, and has extensive experience as a Senior University Lecturer, teaching Contract, Commercial, Vendor and Purchaser and Property law.

From 2008 to 2014, Ms Philip held the position of legal member and Chair of the NT Agent’s Licencing Board, responsible for licencing real estate, business and conveyancing agents and investigating allegations and holding disciplinary inquiries about licenced agents.

Ms Philip has participated in both the development and community advocacy side of the planning process and has a high-level experience, and long-held interest in planning matters.

Wayne Kraft AM

Ex officio member (appointed 1 October 2015)


South Australian by birth, Krafty transferred to Australia’s Northern Territory with the ANZ Bank to Tennant Creek in August 1972.

In the early stages of his ‘love affair’ with Australia’s Northern Territory, he also resided in Darwin, and Barrow Creek before settling in Alice Springs.

Perhaps best remembered as the ‘Mine Host’ of the Overlanders Steakhouse for almost 30 years, Krafty retired from ‘active service’ in 2016.

On Australia Day 2019, Krafty was bestowed the Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the community through a wide range of Northern Territory organisations.

These include the NT TAB Board (Inaugural Board Member 1985 to 1991), the Community College of Central Australia (now a CDU Campus), 6 years with the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory (2 years as Chairperson), Honourary Treasurer of CrimestoppersNT, Council Member (and current Chairperson) of the Heritage Council of the NT, and (currently) Member of the NT Planning Commission.

Robert Jennings

Representative of the Local Government Association of the NT (appointed 12 July 2017)

Profile picture - Robert Jennings

Robert is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Katherine Town Council and has served as an executive officer in government across three states/ territories.  He has an ongoing personal commitment to integrity, excellence and service to the organisations he leads as well as to the Katherine community and the Northern Territory.

Robert has performed the roles of CEO, General Manager and founding partner in a number of government entities and commercial architectural/ developer organisations over the last 20 years.  He has experience across a wide range of businesses, government, infrastructure, land development, urban planning, architecture, building & construction, large-scale design and project management, sustainability, emergency management, tourism, community and economic development.

Robert combines his people and project management skills with his qualifications that include a Bachelors of Architecture, Bachelors of Economics, Bachelors of Applied Science, Diploma of Business (leadership and management) and registration as an Architect.  He is also a member of numerous other government and community boards, institutes and associations.

Dorte Ekelund

Member (appointed 12 July 2017)

Profile picture - Dorte EkelundDorte is an urban and regional planner with over 30 years experience working in most facets of strategic and statutory landuse and infrastructure planning across all levels of government and across various jurisdictions. She also has considerable experience in environmental policies and management, including water policies and programs; climate change mitigation and adaptation action.

Dorte is a Director of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.

Fran Kilgariff AM

Member (appointed 12 July 2017)

Fran has a long history of  involvement in many areas of regional and economic development, local government and community in the Northern Territory. She was born in Alice Springs and educated there and in Adelaide. She has qualifications in radiography, prehistoric archaeology and teaching, plus long experience in various aspects of Territory affairs.

Her community involvement has included being Mayor of Alice Springs for 8 years, on the Board of St John Ambulance NT since 2004, president of the YMCA of Alice Springs for 8 years and on the National YMCA Board where she was vice-President for 3 years. She is currently on the Board of Venture Housing, a not for profit affordable housing company and the Chair of Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.

Fran was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (AM) in 2010 for services to local Government and contributions to the social and economic development of Alice Springs. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)