PROMINENT Australian infrastructure leaders Glenn Thornton and Paul Brown are to join Port of Newcastle’s executive team next week as the organisation begins what it says is “a major growth phase”.

Mr Thornton joins the port from global engineering professional services consulting firm WSP, where he was the NSW region director. He has been appointed PON’s executive manager projects. 

Mr Brown, has been appointed the port’s executive manager business development.

He was formerly general manager of growth and business development at freight rail operator Aurizon.

He was most recently based in New York with 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.


“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 $1.8bn Multi-purpose Deepwater Terminal 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.

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 to drive new forms of trade through Port of Newcastle.

“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.