Council invites community feedback on $1m restructure plan
Residents have been asked to weigh in on Maranoa Regional Council’s controversial $1 million-plus plan for an organisational restructure which could change the way council and its 350 employees operate from top to bottom.
The plans for the proposed organisational restructure were released to the community on January 8 which included an invite to provide councillors with feedback before the deadline of Monday, January 25.
The chart provided, emphasises mayor Tyson Golder’s “operating local” policy that he based his 2020 election campaign on, a proposal that would appoint an individual council director to individual towns to focus on issues like land, roads, waste parks, water, sewerage, pools, libraries, galleries and more,
Cited as the biggest decision to be made by council in 13 years, an approval of the proposed operating structure would result in the region to be serviced by different shires similar to before amalgamation in 2008, for example, Roma (Roma), Bungil (Injune), Bendemere (Wallumbilla, Yuleba and Jackson), Warroo (Surat) and Booringa (Mitchell).
The cost to change the operating structure is expected to be at least $1 million, with the addition of five new directors, however no business case has been put forward by council on possible additional costs.
The proposal has fractured a deep division among councillors as mayor Golder pushed to finalise the process by December 16, 2020 saying the consultation process had gone on for over four months and needed to be finalised before 2021, despite CEO Julie Reitano and his colleagues pleading with him in November to hold off the decision until January, warning it would put council staff under extreme pressure to have months of work completed within days over the Christmas period.
One of the fiercest opponents has been Cr Joh Hancock, a former council employee, who questioned the mayor’s motives of wanting to rush the major decision through before Christmas and repeatedly voiced concerns of a major decision being made in haste.
Despite the uproar, a special meeting was held on Monday, December 21 where mayor Golder and deputy mayor Geoff McMullen pushed to ensure council staff would find out what their roles will look like in 2021 over the Christmas period, citing the importance of employees receiving clarification about their future in the organisation.
While some residents state on the feedback website that it will be an “excellent opportunity to deliver worthwhile outcomes” as each director will be held accountable for their area, others are asking for the other two options that councillors proposed, but was not put forward for consideration.
Perplexed that the feedback website only provides the chart below, residents have also requested a business plan, budgets and some have asked why the proposed structure is so “top heavy”.