Former PM&C boss Martin Parkinson and ex chief minister Paul Henderson join NT’s economic recovery commission

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday May 25, 2020

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Former top public servant Martin Parkinson will help guide the Northern Territory government with its post-pandemic economic recovery as part of a new Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission.

The NT on Friday announced the commission would provide advice to the government on creating jobs, attracting investment, cutting red tape, building on our strategic advantages, and strengthening ties with the federal government, investors and trade partners.

It would also look into the range of factors that could be addressed to ensure a rapid recovery takes place such as government policy reform, priority infrastructure, access to land, regulatory approvals, and the availability of finance.

The commission membership includes:

  • Martin Parkinson, former secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Treasury,
  • Romilly Madew, CEO of Infrastructure Australia,
  • Gail Kelly, corporate leader, board director and former CEO of Westpac,
  • Eytan Lenko, technology entrepreneur and CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions,
  • Professor Mick Dodson, NT treaty commissioner,
  • Paul Henderson, former chief minister,
  • Gary Higgins, former opposition leader and retiring Member for Daly.

Further appointments will be finalised this week, including the selection of co-chairs. The commission is expected to provide an interim report by late-July, and a final report in November.

A Green Paper has been developed to help guide the commission’s work, titled Operation Rebound. The paper outlines a framework of priorities across five focus areas: investment; people and liveability; territory businesses; industry and supply chains; and the role of government. It proposes 27 “immediate rebound initiatives that harness our natural advantages and makes the most of opportunities emerging from this crisis”.

The NT government has also established Team Territory — a group comprised of several business, industry and community leaders — to support the work of the commission. It will be chaired by former chief minister Clare Martin and businessperson Dick Guit.

Team Territory will ensure the commission’s recommendations are feasible for the territory, and will advise the next government on its implementation once the commission has completed its work.

The existing functions of Team NT will also merge into this body.

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