Shires of Waroona and Murray to share CEO

Shires of Waroona and Murray to share CEO

IN an historic move, the Shires of Murray and Waroona will share a chief executive.

Resource-sharing arrangements will be taken to a higher level after a decision by both councils to appoint Dean Unsworth as the chief executive of both councils.

Both Shires already share information technology, environmental health functions and ranger services.

Waroona chief executive Ian Curley will retire later this year.

Waroona Shire President Mike Walmsley said there was an opportunity to explore how resource sharing could benefit both districts.

“Through the significant trust that has grown through the current resource-sharing arrangements, we have come to an agreement to go to the next level and share the chief executive,” he said.

“This is new territory, but I feel that not only will there be significant salary savings through sharing a CEO.

“It will also allow a more strategic and higher-level view of where we can jointly benefit with Murray.”

Shire of Murray President David Bolt said a collective approach would make both organisations and both communities stronger in the long-term.

“However, there will be no governance structural changes in terms of elected member representation to each community or organisationally,” he said.

“While there is significant immediate cost savings in wages and overheads through this decision, the objective is to seek out how and where we can increase sharing arrangements for better service delivery and outcomes for the community and how we can increase collaboration.

“The importance of retaining local decision making at both Waroona and Murray is important, and that will not change.

“However, we will see real benefits through joint procurement, streamlined processes, the creation of a stronger political voice and realising economies of scale.”

The proposal was endorsed by both councils at a special council meeting today .

Part of the agreement is that the chief executive will spend time in both Shire offices each day to ensure there is the required availability to undertake the role effectively.

Cr Walmsley said Dean Unsworth has 20 years of senior experience in local government and knew the Peel region and Waroona well.