City of Bayswater’s new CEO says background makes him best man for the job

New City of Bayswater chief executive Andrew Brien.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470201
New City of Bayswater chief executive Andrew Brien. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470201

NEWLY appointed City of Bayswater chief executive Andrew Brien says his background makes him “well-placed” to carry out Council’s vision for a change of direction in the City.

Mr Brien finished off the first week of a five-year contract last week, after he left his role as City of Bunbury chief executive.

Bayswater councillors voted in support of letting go former chief executive Francesca Lefante last August, wanting the local government to take a “new direction”.

Mr Brien, who has three adult children and two grandchildren, has moved with wife Denise to a house in Wannanup, south of Mandurah, from where he will commute to the City’s Morley offices.

After six years in the army, Mr Brien started his career in local government as a labourer in Queensland and worked up the ranks to his first chief executive gig in 2004.

He said the Bayswater role was “too good to pass up” and did research on the organisation before he applied.

“I’ve looked at the council meetings, I’ve read minutes, I’ve attended some council meetings and had other people attend council meetings for me and supply feedback,” she said.

“I’ve always had a goal of retiring by 60, so I’ve got 10 years. Hopefully I get to have 10 years here and leave my mark at the end of that.

“We want to be a local government that not only is respected by the community but the community is actually proud to say they live in the City of Bayswater.”

Mr Brien said Council had not briefed him on their vision for the “change of direction” yet and he would meet with individual councillors this week.

“My background is change management and local government reform, so I’m probably pretty well-placed to do some of that,” he said.

Mr Brien said during his time in Bunbury they introduced live streaming to council meetings and had a “huge focus” to make sure very few items went behind closed doors.

“Meetings are a lot shorter in Bunbury. I think the last two have knocked over in 18 minutes and 14 minutes,” he said.

“When I started in Bunbury the meetings were going for five or six hours.”

He said the City of Bayswater website needed upgrading to make information more accessible to the public.

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