Tweed Shire Council’s new general manager David Keenan (pictured) eased into his new role this week and was welcomed by senior staff who briefed him on the tasks ahead.
Mr Keenan, 46, officially started in the role on Monday, following the retirement of Mike Rayner after 30 years with council, including the past six years in the top job.
The former chief executive officer of Mitchell Shire Council on the northern outskirts of Melbourne has a strong background in environmental and economic planning.
One of his first comments was acknowledging ‘the good work and significant contribution’ Mr Rayner made to Tweed Shire and its residents.
Mr Keenan said he was looking forward to the ‘challenge of achieving sustainable development in Tweed Shire’.
‘Ensuring there are strong economic development opportunities that can be accommodated in a manner that do not impact the local environment and are supported by an engaged community, is an outcome I will be seeking to achieve.
‘I am looking forward to going out to talk to different groups and individuals to understand what the issues are, where Council can improve on the services it delivers and how we can be better engaged with the community,’ he said.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said he was confident Mr Keenan’s skills would ‘translate well to a NSW setting’ after ‘coming to us from a shire with similar growth pressures, with a significant agricultural sector’.
Mr Keenan has a Masters Degree in Business Administration, a Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and the Environment, and is a long-time board member of Environs Australia, a local government environmental network with the goal of achieving improved sustainability.
Away from the office, Mr Keenan is a keen surfer, basketball player and junior basketball coach. He has been joined in his move north by his wife Jane and children Charlotte, 14, and Harry, 11.