New Ballarat City Council CEO Justine Linley has arrived on the job with the in-tray already full.
Council will find out by early next week whether they will be allowed to raise rates more than the state government’s 2.5 per cent cap, green waste is about to be introduced and there is an election fast approaching.
Ms Linley said she would aim to keep ratepayers involved in decision making.
“(I will also) work on making sure community engagement continues, so we hear what they have to say,” she said.
Lack of consultation has been a common complaint about the current council.
Ms Linley has come from running the Northern Grampians Shire Council. She recognised there would quickly be a lot on her plate.
“I think there’s a lot about to happen. It’s always interesting this time of year,” she said.
Ms Linley also expressed disappointment at the Essential Services Commission’s handling of the rate cap variation application process, and said they had been ill-equipped for it.
Ms Linley was CEO of the Northern Grampians Shire Council for five years where she can count amongst her successes advocacy for the Grampians Peaks Trail, a landmark 144 km $29 million path down the spine of the Grampians aiming to be a major international tourist attraction for Western Victoria.
She has also been commended on her advocacy work on the North Grampians Shire’s support of the Stawell Gold Mine.
In a considerable step up from that role Ms Linley has now taken on a municipality almost ten times the population size of the Northern Grampians but told The Courier she had the passion, energy and knowledge of local government to fill the five year appointment.
Ms Linley has also served as director of the Grampians region of Regional Development Victoria, a position based in Ballarat.