In other news:
- NSW cabinet appointments
- Wingecarribee appoints new GM
- Pioneering DFAT secretary named SA Governor
Former Liverpool City Council CEO Kiersten Fishburn has been appointed as chief executive of the NSW Office of Local Government.
Her appointment follows the departure of Tim Hurst, who found himself at the centre of controversy over the administration of the $250 million Stronger Communities Fund, which was described in a parliamentary report as ‘brazen pork barrelling’.
LGNSW President Linda Scott says Ms Fishburn is well qualified to lead the local government watchdog.
“Ms Fishburn has extensive experience, having worked as an executive with Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and previously as the Chief Executive of the Liverpool City Council,” Cr Scott said in a statement.
“She is well qualified to take provide leadership with OLG and will be familiar with the many challenges facing our members.”
DPIE secretary Jim Betts says Ms Fishburn, a former director of the Casula Powerhouse, will combine her new role with her position as general manager of planning at DPIE.
A DPIE spokesperson previously told Government News that Mr Hurst, who has had a 27-year long career with the NSW government will be pursuing further career opportunities outside the DPIE.
Government News understands there is little love lost in some local government ranks over his departure.
NSW premier announces new cabinet appointments
MP Alister Henskens will replace Gareth Ward as families, communities and disability services minister, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.
Mr Ward announced on May 13 that he was standing down as minister after facing sexual violence allegations.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, MLC Natalie Ward will become the Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans.
Ms Ward replaces John Sidoti, who was asked to resign by Ms Berejiklian in March following confirmation he was the subject of a corruption inquiry involving City of Canada Bay council.
Natasha Maclaren-Jones, who attracted public attention after a brief and chaotic stint as NSW upper house president earlier this month, will become Cabinet Secretary, the premier said.
Wingecarribee appoints GM
Wingecarribee Shire Council has appointed former Hunter’s Hill general manager Lisa Miscamble as its new GM after being forced to re-advertise for the position because of a lack of suitable candidates.
She’ll take up her new post on June 21 on a five-year performance based contract.
After saying earlier this month that he had been unable to find a suitable candidate, interim administrator Viv May said Ms Miscamble was selected from a shortlist of five candidates following an extensive recruitment and interview process.
“I believe Ms Miscamble’s considerable knowledge, skills and experience will help restore the community’s confidence in the Council and the effective functioning of the organisation,” interim administrator Viv May said.
“The calibre of final applicants was extremely high however the panel was ultimately unanimous in its final decision to recommend Ms Miscamble.”
Ms Miscamble said she was delighted to be joining the council at a critical time and looked forward to making a positive contribution to its future.
Joining her is transformation change expert Marissa Racomelara, who will act as deputy general manager until after the September elections.
Council was suspended on March 12 amid bullying allegations.
The former acting General Manager Barry Paull stood aside last month while police investigated an alleged incident at a pub.
Local government minister Shelley Hancock this week extended council’s suspension period for three months following a request from Mr May.
“I am satisfied that this extension, beyond the current three-month suspension period ending on June 11, is necessary to allow Mr May to continue his efforts to reinstate the proper and effective functioning of Wingecarribee Shire Council,” the minister said.
The suspension will now continue until September 10, after local government elections have been held
Disability Royal Commissioner steps down
Disability Royal Commissioner Roslyn Atkinson will step down from her role for personal reasons.
Royal Commission chair Ronald Sackville thanked Commissioner Atkinson for her contribution to the inquiry and said the commission had benefited enormously from her work.
“On behalf of all commissioners I wish to express our deep appreciation to Commissioner Atkinson for her invaluable contributions to the work of the royal commission and our regret that she is leaving us,” he said in a statement.
Commissioner Atkinson is a former Queensland Supreme Court judge and was the inaugural president of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
Head of NDIS regulator ends term
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head is stepping down after concluding his term.
Mr Head was appointed to lead the National Disability Insurance Scheme regulator in July 2018 for a three year statutory term.
Disability Services Minster Linda Reynolds said Mr Head had helped establish and lead the commission through a critical phase and oversaw a significantly more comprehensive approach to the regulation of disability supports and services.
“Under his leadership, the NDIS Commission worked to support people with disability in voicing concerns they have about their supports and services, and to strengthen the capability of the sector to uphold the rights of people with disability, and ensure the services and supports provided through the NDIS are safe,” Senator Reynolds said.
“In addition to establishing each of the commission’s functions and transitioning almost 20,000 providers into the system, the NDIS commission has major initiatives underway addressing the needs of those people with disability who are at heightened risk of abuse and neglect.”
She also acknowledged his contribution in submissions he made to the disability royal commission and for ensuring the commission continued to operate during covid-19.
A selection process will be undertaken to fill the position.
DFAT chief appointed SA Governor
Outgoing DFAT secretary Frances Adamson has been appointed next Governor of South Australia.
Ms Adamson, who ends her term on June 25, has been DFAT’s first female secretary since 2016.
She has served in senior overseas roles including as Australia’s female Ambassador to China from 2011 to 2015.
Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne paid tribute to Ms Adamson, saying she championed internal reform within the department including a successful Women in Leadership Program, and strengthened the focus on diversity and inclusion.
“Her intellect and experience are respected across government, business and the broader community,” Senator Payne said.
Tas road safety advisory council appoints new chair
Retired deputy police commissioner Scott Tilyard has been appointed chair of the Tasmanian Road Safety Advisory Council, which is tasked with advising the government on road safety and overseeing allocation of the Road Safety Levy.
Mr Tilyard, who has served with Tasmania Police for more than 40 years, announced his retirement in March.
“Our commitment to improving road safety in Tasmania will remain in strong hands with the appointment of Mr Tilyard,” Transport minister Michael Ferguson said in a statement.
Mr Tilyard replaces former chair Garry Bailey who stepped down to take up a role with the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania.
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