Commissioner takes charge at ‘dysfunctional’ WA council

In other appointments

  • TAFE managing director appointed to top NZ post
  • New president for LGAT
  • First female head of cyber security

Commissioner appointed as ‘dysfunctional’ West Australian council dissolved

Former West Australian Local Government minister Paul Omodei has been placed in charge of the Perenjori Shire Council following the resignation of more than half of its councillors.

Paul Omodei

Local Government Minister David Templeman said in a statement on Wednesday that Mr Omodei has been appointed Commissioner at the Shire and would administer the “dysfunctional” council until elections next year.

The action comes after the northern agricultural shire council was issued with a Show Cause Notice in May. Following that, five of the Shire’s nine councillors quit, leaving council without a quorum.

“It is disappointing when the level of dysfunction within a Council requires intervention by the Minister,” Mr Templeman said in a statement.

“Appointing the commissioner to the Shire of Perenjori until an election can be held in May 2020 will provide an appropriate amount of time to properly stabilise the operations of the Shire and to provide good government to the people of the Shire.”

Mr Omodei also served as the Commissioner of the Shire of Cue in 2011-12.

Perenjori isn’t the only WA  council feeling the pressure, with the Shire of Port Hedland also issued with a show cause notice.

Meanwhile a two-year investigation into the City of Melville on Thursday found evidence that the City had not been as open and transparent as it could have been while dealing with requests from the public.

“In order for a local government to operate effectively and efficiently it is important that everyone treats each other with respect and consideration – the elected members, the administration and the community,” Mr Templeman said.


TAFE managing director quits for top NZ post

Caralee McLiesh

The managing director of TAFE NSW Caralee McLiesh has left her post after eight months to head up New Zealand’s treasury office. Dr McLiesh joined TAFE in October following the resignation of Jon Black.

NZ State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes on Wednesday announced the appointment of Dr McLiesh to the position of Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Executive, the Treasury.

The position, the largest of the public service chief executive roles, leads and oversees New Zealand’s public finance system, and is the principal economic adviser to the Minister of Finance and the government.

Mr Hughes  described Dr McLiesh as a highly respected, world-class economist with very strong fiscal, economic policy and financial management credentials.

However the NSW opposition said Dr McLiesh’s  departure followed the announcement of budget cuts and showed TAFE was “lurching from crisis to crisis”.

Dr McLiesh was previously Deputy Secretary for the Fiscal and Economic Group in NSW Treasury where she participated in reforms including the NDIS.


First woman appointed to head cyber security unit

Long-time public servant and cyber expert Rachel Nobel will head the Australian Signals Directorate’s Cyber Security Centre.

Rachel Noble

ASD director general Mike Burgess said Ms Noble is ideal to confront the national cyber threat.

Ms Noble is currently serving as Deputy Secretary Executive in the Department of Home Affairs.

She has previously been employed in a series of leadership positions in Home Affairs, Defence and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where she held the role of National Security Chief Information Officer and Cyber Policy Coordinator.

It will be the third time that Ms Noble has worked for the ACSC and her appointment marks the first time a woman will lead the organisation.

Ms Noble replaces Alastair MacGibbon, who last month left the ACSC to join the private sector.


New president at Tasmanian local government peak

West Tamar Council Mayor Christina Holmdahl has been elected as the new president of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT).

Christina Holmdahl

Cr Holmdahl has played a leading role in Local Government for 10 years, including as councillor, Deputy Mayor, Mayor and member of the LGAT General Management Committee for three terms.

“Christina’s appointment reflects the high regard in which she is held in Local Government and we are honoured to see her elected as President of LGAT,” West Tamar Council General Manager Rolph Vos said.

“Her ten years of service to Local Government, coupled with 25 years of experience in the media and Corporate Public Affairs sectors, have equipped her well to take on this new role”.

As well as her duties as Councillor and Mayor of the West Tamar, Mayor Holmdahl is also a member of the Premier’s Local Government Council, the LGAT CEO Appraisal Committee, the LGAT mentors program for the North West, and the Tamar Estuary Management Task Force.


Philip Chronican retires from TCorp board

Banking and finance leader Philip Chronican will retire from the board of TCorp in September.

Mr Chronican was appointed chair in June 2016 but has been on a leave of absence since March after his appointment as interim Group Chief Executive Officer of National Australia Bank.

NSW Treasury Secretary Michael Pratt said TCorp was an important partner to the NSW Government and NSW Treasury.

“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding leadership that Phil has demonstrated both as chair and director over the past 10 years,” he said.

Peter Warne, who has been interim chair of the TCorp board since 1 March, continues in the role.


Program Management Office provider to improve governance for Inland Rail

Turner and Townsend will provide Project Management Office services for Inland Rail.

Professional services company Turner and Townsend has been appointed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation to enhance governance and support decision making for the Inland Rail project.

Inland  Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said the awarding of the contract to deliver Project Management Office services comes as work on the nation’s biggest rail project ramps up.

“With construction now underway on the Parkes to Narromine section and comprehensive design work progressing across other parts of the 1700km route, we welcome the additional structure and support that comes with the PMO being entrenched as a hub of the Inland Rail organisation,” Mr Wankmuller said.

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