The ACT will create a chief engineer position to oversee the territory’s engineering and infrastructure projects.

The position was a 2016 election commitment by the Labor government, which chief minister Andrew Barr said would not only provide strategic oversight for projects, but would also work with engineering bodies to deliver an engineering workforce plan.

“As our city grows and we continue to deliver major infrastructure projects like our city wide light rail network, we need high level engineering advice to government and an army of world class engineers in the private sector,” Mr Barr said.

“Complimenting the beginning of the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency on 1 July – as well as the transformative effect of Canberra’s light rail network, the city’s largest engineering project – the establishment of a chief engineer position will ensure Canberra continues to develop as a vibrant, modern city.”

Minister of planning and land management Mick Gentleman will take responsibly for developing the scope and requirements of the role, which is set to be filled in the next financial year.

Consult Australia, Professionals Australia and Engineers Australia will be involved in negotiations, in conjunction with the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

Consult Australia welcomed the announcement.

“The temptation is to declare the chief engineer role a ‘win for the engineering’,” Consult Australia ACT manager Kevin Keith said

“It’s not. It’s a win for the yet-to-arrive students who will be better connected to all that inspires; the soon-to-become entrepreneurs who will move easier through culture-packed, creative centres; the families in yet-to-be-developed suburbs who will love even more the lifestyle that makes our city unique. It’s a win for people and the future of Canberra.”

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