Council cuts, no losses assured

A division of Dubbo Regional Council is about to be cut, but administrator Michael Kneipp said there would be no forced redundancies.

As part of a new restructure, the number of council divisions will be reduced from six to five, and they will be renamed to better reflect their responsibilities. Meanwhile, an Office of the General Manager will be established, tasked with managing the amalgamation.

The five new directors positions will be advertised nationally within the next two weeks, Mr Kneipp said, and there was “the potential for the current directors to be displaced”.

We will be redeploying people into other areas. There’s plenty of work for everyone.

Michael Kneipp

A plan was still being developed for the remaining staff, the administrator said, with council to have a structure determined within the next fortnight.

Despite the shake-up and one less director, Mr Kneipp said there would be no forced redundancies in the next three years.

“We will be redeploying people into other areas. There’s plenty of work for everyone,” he said.

It was an uncertain time for staff, the administrator said, but he had to compliment them.

“When I first met with all the staff I said “Yes, you are living in a period of uncertainty, but ratepayers are still paying their rates and I do not want to see a drop off in services’,” he said.

“There is some uncertainty, but they’ve been good because they know there are no forced redundancies.”

Mr Kneipp said the decision wasn’t made to cut costs for council, but said there would be savings, as always happened when two companies merged.

The review of the interim organisation structure was undertaken using an evidence-based approach, with a variety of qualitative and quantitative inputs, said interim general manager Mark Riley.

Mr Riley said the changes to the organisational structure were considered appropriate to support the transition to an amalgamated council and provide flexibility in the future.

The new divisions are: economic development and business, infrastructure and operations, corporate services, planning and environment, and community and recreation.

Each division will be lead by a director employed under a performance based contract of up to five years. Recruitment for the positions will be undertaken by Local Government NSW Management Solutions, a branch of Local Government NSW.