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December 2, 2022

Mayor Krieg announces John Walker as Lismore Council’s new GM, but wait…

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The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

No one is surprised to hear tonight that Lismore City Councillors voted 6 to 4 to terminate the employment contract of the General Manager Michael Donnelly under the no-fault clause, effective immediately.

Mayor Steve Krieg Council thanked Mr Donnelly for the work he has done over the past 12 months. ‘He has had a positive impact on staff morale and turning Council on to the path towards financial sustainability,’ said Mayor Krieg.

If this is the case, many are asking why was his employment terminated?

John Walker appointed as Interim GM

Mayor Steve Krieg said Council has resolved to appoint John Walker in the role of Interim General Manager for 12 months, during which time a recruitment process will be undertaken to permanently fill the position.

‘My team was elected with a mandate of change and we have a vision for the future of Lismore,’ said Mayor Krieg.

‘We believe Mr Walker is the best person to implement this vision.’

The statement continued by saying that Mr Walker has over 10 years experience in local government, both in the Northern Rivers at Richmond Valley Council and in Western Australia.

It is common knowledge that Mr Walker left his position in Western Australia, at the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Council after he was suspended early in 2021 amid allegations of workplace misconduct.

A rescission motion

Following Lismore City Council’s vote during the Confidential Session on Monday night relating to the termination of the contact with its current General Manager Michael Donnelly, a rescission motion was lodged by three Councillors.

This means Council cannot act upon the motion until it is again brought before a meeting of Councillors.

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  1. I think we all know the names of the three counsellors involved in this pointless rescission motion..
    Well – that’s democracy for you…

    • At least the rescission motion is within the terms of the Local Government Act. The same cannot be said for the notification of the Monday meeting, and its agenda.

  2. All so mechanical. Push that lever, push that button. pull that lever … and hey preso, we are on a path of financial success.
    I don’t think so. Council is not a tractor. We are humans and we need emotional oil to sooth the cogs. We must have emotional stability.

  3. It could pay to remember that Interim-Mayor Elkins’ cohort arranged for Michael Donnelly to become Caretaker-General Manager of Lismore City, after the resignations of Mayor Isaac Smith and two other councillors. [A ‘caretaker’ is by inference only a temporary position – as was Vanessa Elkins’ own.]
    Shelly Oldham was made General Manager in 2018 by some of the very same councillors that now want to keep Donnelly his temporary position via this rescission motion !
    ‘Kettle calling the pot black’? Or just bare-faced hypocrisy?
    Ratepayer electors – you decide.
    [By the way all that “hot-goss” inference/misinformation over John Walker’s sacking from Kalgoorlie-Boulder Council was due to a confidential matter, now before the Equal Opportunity Commission. May I suggest any further comments/opinion on this matter should await the Commission’s decision in due course.]

    • It now transpires from ABC interview with our new Mayor, that the former LCC Labour/Green majority clique pre-empted the new Council by giving the ‘temporary’ GM Mr Donnelly a secure 4 year term. This dubious tactic was not widely reported and appears to be a clever cover-up.
      The blatant cementing-in of their choice of GM, strategically made just before the 2021 council elections, will cost LCC ratepayers X3 times more than if they had waited a few months for the new council’s decision on a formerly interim GM position.
      I hope this extra information will mitigate mud-slinging and hand-wringing over the huge severance pay for Mr Donnelly amongst this clique’s avid supporters.

  4. John Walker has left twice after allegations of misconduct. What was his alleged offence – Richmond Valley Council must come clean.

  5. Kaye, I wasn’t aware that any ‘misconduct’ was involved at RRS by Mr Walker.
    I understood from media releases that he wanted to be nearer his family in WA and resigned his position over RRS/Casino and Kyogle forced amalgamation.

  6. WOW Rob Andrews is definitely a BIG supporter of the new Mayor & his cohorts and their decisions. There is definitely a cloud over the proposed new GM and his misconducts, misleadings & misdemeanours. I’m sure time will tell all and professional journalists will report.
    I like the way you blatantly state your disapproval for the ‘former LCC Labour/Green majority clique’ but clearly approve of the same conduct by Independant/National majority clique and the blatant stacking of council as all the newly elected are but minions of the Mayor. There would be no severance pay needed if the insecure Mayor Kriegg just left well enough alone and let the GM do his job and support him.

    • Kate, I think we should all give Mr John Walker the benefit of an “Aussie fair go”.
      We all know the current politically-based whispering campaigns and cancel-culture is now endemic, but is it fair?.
      From my research it appears Mr Walker is a “mover and shaker” and that has meant his enemies tend to proliferate.
      Perhaps that is exactly what Lismore City needs now after a disastrous past 20yrs ?
      Sorry – I’m not especially a big supporter of the LCC as you seem to think.
      No, I just want the LCC to get out of its $6M black-hole and confine itself to its main vital functions, rather than always getting way-laid over trendy virtue-signaling.
      The recent 2021 council elections appear to show I am not alone it this aim.

    • Kaye, please read my reply to Kate (above).
      To-day some highly motivated activists will use any allegation and smears, however un-supported by evidence, to force a public figure’s resignation.
      [Vide three recent similar events in Canberra….]


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