Dual chief role to stay

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Murray shire president David Bolt, Murray-Waroona chief executive officer Dean Unsworth and Waroona shire president Mike Walmsley.
Camera IconMurray shire president David Bolt, Murray-Waroona chief executive officer Dean Unsworth and Waroona shire president Mike Walmsley. Credit: supplied

On the back of the success of a shared chief executive arrangement, the Murray and Waroona shire councils have decided to make the agreement more permanent.

In August, both councils endorsed a 12-month memorandum of understanding to appoint the Murray shire’s chief executive Dean Unsworth as a joint Murray-Waroona head.

Last week the Waroona Shire Council voted unanimously to extend the dual chief arrangement for another five years, more than six months ahead of a scheduled review.

The Murray Shire Council also voted unanimously to extend the arrangement at their meeting on Thursday.

Waroona shire president Mike Walmsley said staff at the shires agreed to bring the decision forward because of how well the arrangement had been working.

“We’re really happy with how it has been working,” Cr Walmsley said.

“Last week we resolved to sign the MOU for another five years.”

Cr Walmsley said the chief executive resource sharing committee had reviewed the arrangement ahead of schedule because the decision made now would have been the same if the committee had waited until September.

“We brought it forward because we have had such a positive response from people in both shires,” he said.

“This decision was made ahead of schedule in order to give staff confidence going forward. It also means Dean can start setting some long-term goals for the shires.”

Under the arrangement, each council maintains their own decision-making processes, but share procurement and administrative resources.

Before the arrangement began the two shires already shared IT support, environmental health functions and ranger services.

With more than 20 years of senior experience in local government, 12 of those as chief executive of the Murray Shire, Mr Unsworth is well placed for the role.

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