Council recruiting for a CEO after Roach resigns

Southern Downs Regional Council CEO has resigned, ready to start his position as the Ipswich City Council chief financial officer next month.
Southern Downs Regional Council CEO has resigned, ready to start his position as the Ipswich City Council chief financial officer next month.

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council will soon start recruiting for the top job, after CEO Andrew Roach resigned yesterday.

Mr Roach will start his new role as Chief Financial Officer for the Ipswich City Council next month, alongside Warwick alumni Jim Lindsay.

Mr Roach said he had enjoyed his time leading the Southern Downs council.

"It's provided some great challenges and I've had some rewarding experiences in my time here," he said.

"There have been a number of significant changes we've implemented in the two-year period.

"A few that stand out include the restructure, saving ratepayers $1.3 million.

"Another is developing our one-council philosophy, bringing together the (Warwick and Stanthorpe) regions when they were quite separate prior to my arrival."

However, executing these changes proved tough, with Mr Roach coming under fire several times throughout his two years in the CEO chair.

The first challenge he faced was the organisational restructure of the council, in which several positions were made redundant.

Then earlier this year several councillors claimed Mr Roach had too much power and he was forced to hit back and explain he was only doing his job.

Despite this, Mr Roach said one of the things he will miss most was the people of the Southern Downs region.

"I have made many good friends here and will miss that daily interaction that I've had across the community but I'm heading on to a more significant role at the Ipswich City Council."

Though he could not expand on what challenges and duties he will face as Chief Financial Officer of Ipswich council, Mr Roach said he was looking forward to working with their new CEO Jim Lindsay, who took on the top job in May.

Mr Lindsay is no stranger to the Southern Downs region as well, having been the former Director of Finance and Corporate Services of the Warwick Shire Council for eight years and assistant general manager of the Warwick Credit Union for three.

Mr Lindsay is also a current Warwick Credit Union company director and chairman of the audit committee.

"I'm certainly looking forward to the challenges of a much larger council and working with the CEO on a great number of business challenges," Mr Roach said.

Southern Downs mayor Peter Blundell said he was impressed with the work Mr Roach achieved while with the council.

"The CEO has had significant challenges with SDRC being on the Auditor-General's financial watch list," he said. "However, we now have a budget in surplus and stronger procedures around budget builds.

"A lot of activity has occurred in the advocacy space and I feel there is still room to improve.

"In the CEO's time there have been a number of issues in the region advanced with both State and Federal Governments including regional airports, funding programs and changes in legislation affecting local government."

Cr Blundell said the CEO's push to encourage the One Team philosophy was a step in the right direction.

"I believe there have been good advances in this area, again with more work to go given this type of change usually comes slowly," he said. "In Economic Development the CEO has been very proactive and created the position of Manager Planning and Development within council's senior leadership team.

"This position has meant both directorates (planning and economic development) work well together, improving processes and realising opportunities."

Cr Blundell said Mr Roach had established regular meetings with directors and the senior managers as well as internal communications.

"The CEO felt strongly about communicating with our local communities establishing the council news page in local media, implementing community engagement tools; such as Bang the Table, the SDRC (smartphone) app and the customer service computer systems," he said.

Cr Blundell wished Mr Roach the best of luck in his new role as Ipswich City Council CFO.

The council will meet later this week to discuss the process of recruitment of a new CEO. In the meantime director of business and community services David Tuxford will be acting CEO.

Topics:  andrew roach ceo southern downs regional council

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