McGrath names his big four

Indigo Shire chief Brendan McGrath
Indigo Shire chief Brendan McGrath

WANGARATTA Council has promoted long-serving employee Ruth Kneebone to be one of four directors under new chief executive officer Brendan McGrath.

Ms Kneebone, the finance manager since 2003, will be corporate services director.

Alan Clark, a colleague of Mr McGrath at Indigo and a former soldier in the engineering corps, will be infrastructure services director.

He has been employed at general manager level at the Indigo and Lockhart councils for eight years.

Indigo Council last month asked Mr Clark to be acting chef executive until Mr McGrath’s replacement was appointed — a role not yet filled.

Jamie Carroll will be community well-being director after running her own consultancy business for the past four years.

She is a former Wodonga Council manager for community planning and youth services.

Ms Carroll was also involved in projects including Neighbourhood Power and Red Carpet Youth Awards.

Barry Green will be development services director, a role added to the corporate management team.

He joins the council from Hepburn shire at Daylesford, where he was general manager for sustainable development, a role that included responsibilities for natural resource management, planning, economic development and tourism.

Mr McGrath, who begins in his role on Tuesday, announced the four-member senior line-up last night.

“I am looking forward to commencing next week as chief executive officer and very much looking forward to working with the administrators and new corporate management team,” Mr McGrath said last night.

He will be the permanent replacement for Doug Sharp.

Mr Sharp and the other members of his corporate management team at Wangaratta, Ruth Tai, Ray Park and Andrew Close, together with the executive manager for economic development Graham Nickless, quit the council in late August.

Their departures were a key point in the lead-up to the dramatic dismissal of all the elected councillors by Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell on September 18, after months of controversy.

Wangaratta chief administrator Ailsa Fox said the appointment of a new-look corporate management team was an important step for the council.

“The new directors were chosen from a large field of highly-qualified applicants and cover a broad range of experience, including local government,” she said.