Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell
Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell Erin Smith

Southern Downs closer to having new CEO

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council will soon have a new chief executive officer with Mayor Peter Blundell confirming a job offer had been finalised.

But he is keeping the identity of the new bureaucratic boss under firm wraps until Monday, choosing to tell council employees about their new CEO when they return from the Christmas-New Year break ahead of the media.

It is understood the new CEO was in the same role in a New South Wales council up until late 2013.

Council interviewed shortlisted applicants in the third week of December after whittling down a list of nearly 60 hopefuls.

Minutes from a special council meeting believed to have been held on December 19 at which a vote was taken on the successful applicant have not yet been made public.

Recruitment for a new CEO began after former incumbent Andrew Roach resigned to take up a senior role with Ipswich City Council as chief financial officer with David Tuxford appointed acting CEO.

Cr Blundell yesterday confirmed council had a new CEO after quashing a rumour on December 23 that one had been appointed during the week interviews were conducted.

"At this stage, I think it's proper we advise council's staff who the new CEO is before we make it public.

"I will take the opportunity to do that on Monday," he said.

"I can say we are looking at a proposed start date towards the end of January."

It is understood there will be no clause in the new CEO's contract that they reside in the council area after calls for such a requirement after the departure of Mr Roach who did not live here permanently and regularly travelled to his family home in Brisbane.

His tenure here was controversial, with some councillors claiming he wielded too much power, with Mr Roach adamant he had been appointed to implement major reforms including a staff restructure.


-Warwick Daily News

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