Barnes appointed GM

Bega Valley Shire Council’s newly appointed General Manager, Leanne Barnes, says she is honoured to have the community’s trust through its elected representatives.

In a statement made yesterday, Ms Barnes said she anticipates the period ahead to be marked with inevitable challenges, continued financial stability and increased connectivity between Council and the community.

“I am honoured and humbled at this appointment from Councillors, and I’m looking at the time before us as a great opportunity to link the actions and processes of Council to the hopes and aspirations of the community,” Ms Barnes said.

“We have some busy years ahead of us, with a wide range of major projects in the planning or development stages. These range from big infrastructure projects, such as overseeing development at the Port of Eden, to people projects that involve significant improvements in the way we communicate with the community.

“I plan on leading our organisation into a period of greater community integration, where appropriate levels of engagement will be adopted when considering organisational actions and decisions that affect the people around us.

“The community should be confident that they will be informed of Council’s intentions, and involved in the process of decision making when public participation is required.

“A number of challenges have been identified as needing immediate attention, including possible changes to state and federal funding, working with state government planning laws, and readying ourselves for the outcome of the Local Government Review.

“It’s inevitable that within a five year period there will also be new directions and challenges that are yet to appear on the horizon. I have every confidence of challenges being turned into advantages thanks to the hard work of all Council staff ranging from our trainees and cadets up to senior management.

“We are a workforce of more than 300 diversely talented people spread across the shire, but we are still an approachable, united and friendly team. It’s my privilege to be leading this team, and working with every employee in delivering the best service for the community.

“I will commence my position as General Manager at the beginning of January 2014, and I have Council’s support to undertake training to assist drive organisational leadership. In the mean time I again thank the Councillors for their support and trust, and by extension I would also like to thank the community. I’ll be spending a relaxing time with friends and family over Christmas, and I wish everyone a safe, joyous  and equally relaxing time,” Ms Barnes said.

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