Senior Australian infrastructure leaders Glenn Thornton and Paul Brown will join Port of Newcastle’s (PON) executive team on 9 June as the organisation enters a major growth phase. 

Mr Thornton – who joins the Port from global engineering professional services consulting firm WSP, where he was the NSW Region Director and Project Director Advisory for Australia – has been appointed PON’s Executive Manager Projects.  

Mr Brown, appointed the port’s Executive Manager Business Development, was formerly General Manager of Growth and Business Development at freight rail operator Aurizon. He was most recently based in New York with one of the world’s most innovative companies, General Electric, as Sales Director for GE Renewable Energy and, before that, GE Transportation (Rail, Mining and Marine).  

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the two executive appointments came at a critical time for the port’s diversification plans. 

“Both Glenn and Paul have extensive leadership experience involving significant assets and projects worth billions of dollars – this will be critical as the port pursues projects designed to directly contribute to the Hunter’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and secure the region’s long term prosperity,” Mr Carmody said. 

“Port of Newcastle is building the foundations of a broader plan to ensure the Hunter, NSW and Australian economies have the future infrastructure they will need – that involves investments in a range of trade opportunities, including the proposed $1.8 billion Multi-purpose Deepwater Terminal (MDT) project. 

“In both cases, we have appointed senior leaders with a deep understanding of, and first-hand experience in, all commercial aspects of the large-scale projects Port of Newcastle is now pursuing.” 

Mr Thornton is a former Hunter Business Chamber CEO who has forged strong relationships with senior leaders within business and government. With more than 30 years’ experience in the delivery of major infrastructure, including advisory, planning, design, governance and project management, Mr Thornton said he was pleased to be helping future-proof the Hunter region. 

“The investment that is planned for the Port of Newcastle will not only create thousands of jobs during construction, it will also have huge ongoing employment and business growth implications for this city and the Hunter region for the years to come,” Mr Thornton said.  

Mr Brown said he was pleased to use his mix of experience in infrastructure, asset optimisation and innovative technology in rail, mining and energy to drive new forms of trade through the largest port on Australia’s east coast. 

“The port is a key asset for the Hunter and NSW more broadly – we need to diversify the product and customer base, and grow and develop the asset sustainably, if we are to succeed in future-proofing both the local economy and the port,” Mr Brown said. 

Port of Newcastle

Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 171 million tonnes of cargo each year. With its annual trade worth about $25 billion to the New South Wales economy, the Port enables businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets. With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.

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