BIG PLANS: Cecil Barnard has both eyes on the future and he likes what he sees.
BIG PLANS: Cecil Barnard has both eyes on the future and he likes what he sees. Jonno Colfs

Shock depature for Southern Downs Council manager

AFTER close to four years with Southern Downs Regional Council, planning and development manager Cecil Barnard has announced he has left the organisation. 

A council spokeswoman confirmed Mr Barnard had left the organisation but declined to answer questions about the reasons for his departure.  

The Daily News has attempted to contact him for comment. 

Mr Barnard joined SDRC during the previous council term in July 2013, but announced he had left the council on his LinkedIn profile on Friday. 

"My tenure at the SDRC has come to an end," he wrote.

"I am proud of what my team and I have achieved over the last 3.5 years: putting a compassionate professional human face to council's relationship with the business and development community. The result speaks for itself.

"While the Planning and Development office is small, we have a dedicated and passionate team of professionals in the building, planning and plumbing world.

"Our region is diverse, from remote rural farms to fashionable urban places, requiring a holistic approach to matters development, rather than a dogmatic one.

"My philosophy is to be pragmatic and to view each and every issue on its individual merit.

"It is more time consuming, and significantly more difficult, but the reality is, no-one of us likes to be a mere number."

Mr Barnard was temporarily stood down in August 2015 after heated comments he made on social media.

Prior to working in Warwick, he had worked for Rockhampton Regional Council and as a casual lecturer at Central Queensland University.

Before coming to Australia, Mr Barnard owned a Town and Regional Planning and Environmental Services in Pretoria, South Africa, where he also lectured at the local university.

Mr Barnard was a member of the Queensland Goverment Board of Urban Places - with a focus on regional Queensland development - from 2012 until February 2016, when the board was dissolved.

He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Queensland, with a research focus into the impact of technology, in specific artificial intelligence on employment and job creation in the Darling Downs. 

The Daily News asked the council why Mr Barnard had left the organisation and whether any complaints had been made against him. 

A council spokeswoman said interim arrangements would be made to fill his role as planning and development manager, but declined to comment further.  



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