Councillor resigns over ‘difference of values’

In other news and appointments:

  • Digital head of NSW Customer Service resigns
  • New Uber Air head to work with Victorian government on flying taxi service
  • Victoria hunts new CEO for anti-corruption watchdog
  • Darcy Byrne back at Inner West


Councillor resigns after outcry over ‘ring girls’

A Greater Bendigo City councillor has resigned following a controversy involving the use of “ring girls” at a boxing event sponsored by council last month.

Yvonne Wrigglesworth

Local media quoted Yvonne Wrigglesworth as saying women were being objectified in the Battle of Bendigo boxing tournament, and describing the ring girl tradition, where women carry cards displaying the round number onto the boxing ring,  as part of “an outdated and misogynistic concept”.

She later said she had resigned because of a “difference in values between myself and the majority of other Councillors; a difference which has made my continued ability to perform in the Councillor role untenable”.

Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann confirmed Ms Wriggleworth’s resignation in a statement saying she had been an advocate for rural communities and had contributed to council’s strategic work.

“Yvonne’s decision to resign is a disappointing outcome, however I also respect her decision,” he said.

Ms Wrigglesworth had also been involved in drafting Council’s gender equality statement.


DCS executive director stands down

The Executive director of Data, Insights and Transformation at the new Department of Customer Service, Pia Andrews, has quit to spend more time with her family.

Ms Andrews, who previously worked as Director of Digital Government Policy, joined the then Department of Finances, Service and Innovation in 2018.

During her 12 months with the NSW government Ms Andrews says her proudest achievements include establishing the nation’s first Policy Lab, which brought new user-centered design methods into a traditional policy team.

In a blog post she says she is leaving to spend more time with her Canberra-based family.

“I remain delighted and amazed at the unique opportunity in NSW government to lead the way for truly innovative, holistic and user-centred approaches to government,” she said.


IBAC hunts new head

Alistair Maclean

Victoria’s Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) is on the hunt for a new CEO following the decision of Alistair Maclean to resign after six and a half years.

Mr Maclean, who led the agency since its inception, helped build a corruption resistant approach to the state’s public sector, including Victoria Police, Commissioner Robert Redlich said.

“Alistair has ably led IBAC from its establishment to consolidating the Commission as an agency that has significantly changed the integrity and anti-corruption landscape in Victoria for the better,” he said.

“Under Alistair’s leadership, the IBAC has developed into an effective anti-corruption agency with significant achievements in building the corruption resistance approach of Victoria’s public sector, including Victoria Police.”

Mr Maclean will vacate his post at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities.


Darcy Byrne re-elected

Mayor Darcy Byrne

Darcy Byrne has pledged to focus on arts and renewable energy projects after being relected as Mayor of Inner West Council.

Cr Byrne was elected as inaugural mayor in September 2017 following the amalgamation of Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville councils.

In his continuing role he says he wants to bypass development applications for small scale arts performances and exhibitions, and establish Council as broker for large scale installation of solar on buildings and homes across the Inner West.

“There are thousands of rooftops, large and small, that should be generating renewable energy and making a return for the property owners and it’s time to break through bureaucratic hurdles to make that happen,” he said.



 New Uber Air head to get flying taxi pilot of the ground in Melbourne

Natalie Malligan

Natalie Malligan has been appointed the new head of Uber Air in Australia where she will work alongside the Victorian government and federal aviation agencies to get a fully scaled air taxi operation off the ground in Melbourne.

According to Uber Australia, Uber Air aims to open up urban air mobility and help alleviate transport congestion on the ground by providing flights across cities for the same price as an UberX trip over the same distance.

“Natalie is passionate about Uber’s vision for the future of cities and creating seamless multi-modal transportation for Australians both on the ground and in the air, especially in cities like Melbourne where congestion is an issue,” Uber said in a statement.

Melbourne is the world’s third pilot city for Uber Air. Commercial operations are planned to begin in 2023.



Wild horses won’t drag him away

Tim Johnson has been appointed chair of the new Kosciuszko Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel.

The NSW government announced the panel this month to manage the brumby population and protect the ecology of the National Park.

Mr Johnson is a nominated representative of the Snowy Horse Riders Association and was integral in forming the National Heritage Listing over the Australian Alps.

“He will directly update the NSW Government and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) on the work of the panel and progress within the Kosciuszko National Park,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.

Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte has been appointed Deputy Chair and will advise the Government and NPWS on the draft management plan for horses within Kosciuszko National Park.

The Committee’s work will be informed by a survey of the horse population in Kosciuszko National Park, which is currently being finalised.


Indigenous position established for MDBA

The federal government has created a new indigenous position on the board of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

“This is a historic move to make an Aboriginal position a legislated, permanent role on the MDBA Board,” Water resources minister David Littleproud said.

Brent Finlay

“Aboriginal communities will now have direct input into the management of Basin water resources.

The new position takes the numbers on the board from six to seven.

Meanwhile, Mr Littleproud also announced the former NFF president Brent Finlay will lead five other members on the Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee to provide governance around the fund, which would grow to $5 billion and pay a dividend of $100 million dollars each year.

“We have to make sure that this doesn’t become a slush fund,” he said, adding the panel would consult with the community about how the money is spent.

The other panel members are climatologist Dr Wendy Craik, Dr Kate Andrews, Dr Elizabeth Peterson and Caroline Welsh.


New Chair for Visit Victoria

Commercial litigator Janet Whiting is the new chair of Victoria’s primary tourism and events body, Visit Victoria.

Ms Whiting succeeds Paul Little, who has accepted the position of chair of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

Ms Whiting is currently a member of the Visit Victoria board and was previously deputy chair of the Victorian Major Events Company and a director of Tourism Australia. She has also served as president of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Paku says Ms Whiting will help achieve the government’s aim of boosting visitor spending to $36.5 billion by 2025.


New MD for Tourism and Transport Forum

Phillipa Harrison

The tourism industry marketing body has welcomed the appointment of Phillipa Harrison as its new Managing Director.

Ms Harrison, who joined Tourism Australia in February 2017, will oversee Tourism Australia’s network of international offices spanning 12 countries  and work with the industry to grow the inbound market for Australian tourism.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond says Ms Harrison has extensive experience across the government and tourism sectors and will continue to position and promote Australian tourism in a competitive global environment.

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