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13 July 2017
The Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has announced the appointment of Dr David Ritchie as the new Chair of the Northern Territory Planning Commission. The Minister also announced the appointment of three new members to the Commission.

Read the media release

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 (currently two) 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.

In its first two years, the Commission comprised 10 members, which is the maximum number allowed under the Planning Act. Where required, the Commission can also second people on its subcommittees or engage external consultants.

In April 2015, the Minister at the time decided to streamline membership, noting that it would be appropriate to ask suitably qualified people to work with the Commission on specific projects where their expertise would add value.

Our members

Dr Paul Vogel

Ex officio member - Chair of the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority

Profile Picture - Dr Paul Vogel, Chairperson NT EPA

Dr Paul Vogel was appointed as the chairperson of the NT EPA on 14 November 2016.

Now a non-executive board director and strategic consultant, Dr Vogel was Chairman of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority from 2007 – 2015. Dr Vogel 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.

Dr Vogel 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.

Dr Vogel 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.

The Hon Denis Burke

Ex officio member (appointed 1 August 2014)

Image of Denis BurkeDenis is the Chair of the Development Consent Authority, which is a committee dealing with land and development applications on behalf of the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.

He is a former politician, serving in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1994 to 2005, including in various ministerial roles and as Chief Minister from 1999 to 2001. Earlier, he served in the Australian Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commanding the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin before entering politics.

From 2008 to 2012, he worked in Abu Dhabi as advisor to the Chair and Undersecretary of the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Wayne Kraft

Ex officio member (appointed 1 October 2015)

Image of Wayne KraftWayne Kraft lives in Alice Springs and is the owner of the Overlanders Steakhouse.

An NT resident for more than 40 years, he has also lived and worked in Tennant Creek, Darwin and Barrow Creek.

He is a past Chairman of the Board of the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT.

He became Chairperson of the Heritage Council on 1 October 2015.

Brendan Dowd


Image of Brendon Dowd

Brendan is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the City of Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia. Brendan has over 30 years’ experience in local government and prior to taking up the CEO’s role 8 years ago, he was the Director of Technical Services at the City of Darwin. Prior to moving to the Northern Territory 15 years ago with his wife and three children, he held a range of senior executive positions in South Australia.

Brendan holds a Degree in Civil Engineering, a Graduate Diploma in Municipal Engineering, a Master of Business Administration. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and has recently been on a panel that reviewed the Northern Territory Local Government Act.  Brendan also attended Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executives in State and Local Government in July 2015.

Dr Ken Johnson AM

Member (appointed 9 April 2013)

Image of Dr Ken Johnson AM

Ken is Chair of Desert Knowledge Australia and the Conservation Land Corporation. A wildlife research scientist, he came to the Northern Territory in 1978 to work with traditional land owners to document the flora and fauna of Central Australia. As Parks and Wildlife Regional Director from 1991, he was responsible for the southern region of the Northern Territory, where he established the Desert Knowledge Precinct and Desert Wildlife Park.

He has a Bachelor of Rural Science (Hons) and a PhD.

Denys Stedman

Member (appointed 9 April 2013)

Image of Denys Stedman

Denys is a chartered accountant and managing partner of KPMG Darwin. Since coming to Darwin in 1979, he has advised many organisations regarding business planning and strategy development. He has extensive exposure through dealings with clients in the building and construction, pastoral, property and professional service industries.

He has a Bachelor of Business and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia, graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Certified Practising Accountants Australia.

Past members

The Hon Gary Nairn AO
1 January 2013 - 31 January 2017

Dr Bill Freeland
1 January 2013 to 13 October 2016
Ex officio member. Chair of the NT Environment Protection Authority.

Dr Brian Reed
1 January 2013 to 30 September 2015
Ex officio member. Chair of the Heritage Council. 

Graham Bailey
9 April 2013 to 8 April 2015

David McHugh
9 April 2013 to 8 April 2015

Nicole Wheeler
9 April 2013 to 8 April 2015 

Stuart Duncan
9 April 2013 to 8 April 2015
Representative of the Local Government Association of the NT.

Peter McQueen
9 April 2013 to 31 July 2014
Ex officio member. Chair of the Development Consent Authority.