Staff shake-up approved without drama at meeting

Cr Jason Kingsley
Cr Jason Kingsley

WHEN Clarence Valley Council had to call an extra meeting to decide on its new staff structure, observers predicted a feisty tussle.

Instead, Tuesday afternoon's extraordinary meeting was done and dusted in about an hour with the restructure intact apart from one title change.

A far cry from the previous week's meeting that went on until after 11pm, the restructure has been flagged as being cost-neutral.

The number of managers will be reduced from 13 to 10, producing a saving of $360,000 a year.

A new director's position will be created and an executive manager will be appointed at the cost of $340,000 a year.

The saving of $20,000 is not likely to stretch very far, however, with a $50,000 recruitment budget and the potential of up to three manager redundancy payments.

The council is required to redetermine its organisational structure within 12 months after an election, with advertising in late January, and positions to be filled late March to early April.

It says all senior positions will be re-advertised and appointments made on merit. Councillors were unable to agree on the restructure at last week's meeting and despite Mayor Richie Williamson and Cr Jeremy Challacombe voting to approve it as was, the majority ruled another workshop and an extraordinary meeting necessary.

Cr Jason Kingsley started Tuesday night's meeting by saying he wanted to change the title of the manager of development and regulated service to include the word "environment."

Cr Andrew Baker foreshadowed a motion to pass the general manger's recommendation as was.

He said he wanted to first "test out" the general manager at the workshop. "We transfer all the risk to the general manager from here on," Cr Baker said.

However Cr Challacombe said he thought it important to put an emphasis on the environment. "We're all looking at responsible resource management and sustainable economic development," he said.

The general manager was given authority to determine the time frame for the new structure.

Crs Williamson, Howe, Challacombe and Kingsley voted in favour of the change, with Crs Toms, Simmons and Baker voting against. Crs McKenna and Hughes were apologies.

Topics:  clarence valley council restructure

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