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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Byron Council GM quits

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Staff reporters 

Byron Shire Council general manager Graeme Faulkner has resigned a year short of the end of his five-year contract and is set to leave his job within a month.

The sudden announcement follows a secret council meeting last week to discuss renewal of Mr Faulkner’s contract, at which no decision was taken.

Mr Faulkner was appointed a few months before the 2008 elections.

A report for councillors regarding the general manager’s position will be presented at the June 28 meeting.

It’s unlikely a permanent GM can be appointed ahead of the September council election owing to the four-week caretaker period required by state legislation.

The reasons for Mr Faulkner’s decision won’t be made public, according to the spokesman.

However, the GM did say he was ‘pleased to have been able to work in the Byron Shire for the last four years.

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Byron Shire and want to wish both the elected councillors and staff all the best for the future,’ he said.

‘I’m confident the next GM will continue to work with staff, councillors, and the community for a sustainable Byron Shire.’


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7 COMMENTS

  1. Well Done Graeme! A four year stint at Byron is worth 40 years anywehre else! The GM has shown tremendous loyalty and support to staff in a very dysfunctional, internally focussed and “special” Council.
    Good Luck finding a replacement – Byron has become the Siberia for local government General Managers! Who would want to take it on?

  2. BSC has more sand “in the gearbox ” than on Belongil Beach!
    To overcome our problems and be cost efficient:
    # This shire needs a GM with local knolege.
    # The new Major is our GM too. (save wages, agree with himself and good relation to Councillors and Staff)

    you want to know more?

  3. Talking a closer look at the budget, real Council output and the moral of the organisation will provide the indicator to determine how effective management has been.
    Hopefully a clearing of house will herald a new chapter for the beginning of consistent, genuine and professional management of the shire.

  4. Talking a closer look at the budget, real Council output and the morale of the organisation will provide the indicator to determine how effective management has been.
    Hopefully a clearing of house will herald a new chapter for the beginning of consistent, genuine and professional management of the shire.

    • Won’t happen unless the elected Councillors understand their role is the bigger picture stuff and not to interfere in the minutia of day to day management, and learn to treat staff with the respect and support they deserve!

  5. In a democracy, the elected representative of the people – be he/she a Mayor, Premier, Prime Minister or President – is also the Executive Officer of their electoral area. The State government prohibiting a Mayor from performing the role of Executive Officer – being able to take control of the day to day business of local government, and insisting that Mayors be subject to the will and political games of despotic General Managers, is a breach of democratic principles. What next – a General Manager from Western Australia taking control of the day to day running of the State of NSW; or a General Manager from China taking control of the day to day running of Australia – whilst prohibiting the Prime Minister from talking to federal government employees? In the event that the citizen who is elected to the Office of Mayor is not qualified to take on the administrative responsibilities of an Executive Officer, that elected represented should be permitted to engage the services of a General Manager – to assist, not dictate; and the General Manager should be subordinate to the Mayor – contracted to comply with the lawful instructions of his/her employer. A good Executive Officer considers the advice of senior staff, and listens to the ‘on the ground’ experiences of staff. A good Mayor considers the advice of senior council staff and engages in discussion and sharing of ideas with council staff. In a democracy, the Mayor and Councillors consider the desires of the majority of residents; whilst having regard to the basic needs of all residents – before implementing policies and practices that impact upon the day to day lives of residents. As for non-residential ratepayers being permitted to vote in Local Government elections – the practice is ‘rule by the rich’ – not Democracy. The payment of rates is for the provision of Council services (such as garbage collection). Under a democratic system of government, the wealthy should not be permitted to purchase entitlement to vote in multiple local government electorates. In a Democracy, the right to vote in a political election is based entirely upon being a residential citizen of the electorate. Good bye Graeme Faulkner – despot; and good riddance.

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