Bega General Manager not seeking renewal of contract

Bega Valley Shire Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes has formally advised Councillors of her intention not to seek a renewal of her contract when it expires later this year.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick said that while Leanne’s announcement was not unexpected it will be a huge loss for the Bega Valley.

“Leanne has been an integral part of Council for over 19 years, including eight as General Manager,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“Over this time, Leanne has assisted Council to deliver a range of significant infrastructure, services, and changes.

“She led the organisation through the recent Black Summer bushfires and four local flooding events, while also dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as the Tathra and District and Yankees Gap fires in 2018, the 2016 East Coast low and 2014 flood events.

“Council has resolved to commence the recruitment process now and renamed the position to that of Chief Executive Officer so that onboarding can be completed prior to the commencement of the caretaker period ahead of the next Council election, providing stability and a smooth transition for the Bega Valley.”

In line with standard local government guidelines for the recruitment to the position, the process will be led by the Mayor and Councillors, with support from an external recruitment agency and Council’s People and Governance Manager.

“My decision not to request a renewal of my current contract doesn’t change our current work or priorities,” Ms Barnes said.

“We have a dedicated leadership team, and I am proud of what we have achieved over the past eight years.

“We are in a strong position to ensure a smooth transition for the organisation over the coming months, and the leadership team and I will do everything we can to ensure this.

“In the meantime, we have a lot more to achieve and I am committed to leading the organisation with the best interests of the community and staff at the forefront of everything we do.”

Above: Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes