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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Is Byron council top heavy?

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Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads

Byron Shire Council has a rate base of only around 14,500 properties. This is the revenue base for it to do its work.

I have suggested on numerous occasions that Council had become too top heavy with executive management and middle management, which puts a strain on these finances.

Top-heavy management also hinders staff on the ground being able to operate efficiently because funds required to pay for the depth of this management do not allow for monies to be made available to them.

I am aware of only one elected councillor who ever put up that the organisation needed to be restructured to address this problem. That councillor was Tom Tabart.

Cr Tabart was accused of picking on staff by other councillors and subsequently they refused to support him.

Graeme Faulkner, the previous general manager, had the University of Technology Sydney assess the organisation’s structure and submit a recommendation. That assessment recommended that some departments needed to be restructured. Faulkner refused to implement the recommendations!

Why did the then elected councillors allow the recommendations of the university to be ignored? The incoming councillors have now inherited this top-heavy management.

I believe the egos/inexperience of some members of this current council are being stroked by management and as a result they have not addressed the structural problems inherited by them.

This current council has clearly demonstrated that it is more fragmented than the previous one.

Management must be loving it.

Will the newly elected councillors have the courage to ask that the current general manager, Ken Grainger, restructure the organisation to reduce the financial overburden of executive and middle management?

This would allow ratepayers’ monies to then go to providing a better standard of service than is currently being provided.


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