10 May 2023

New Cook Shire CEO wants an open-door policy with ratepayers

| Matt Nicholls
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Western Australian federal MP Rick Wilson with Shire of Menzies CEO Brian Joiner on a remote road in the council which has just 500 residents.

THE new CEO of Cook Shire will stand out in a crowd and says ratepayers should feel comfortable approaching him about council matters if they feel the urge to do so.

The seven-foot Brian Joiner will leave his position as the CEO of the Shire of Menzies in Western Australia and make the move to Cooktown in August.

He says he can’t wait to fill the shoes of the outgoing CEO Linda Cardew, who is retiring next month.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about coming over,” he said.

“My partner (Eve) and I loved the town – it was a beautiful location. For a town with about 2500 people, Cooktown has great facilities.”

Mr Joiner said he would have an open-door policy.

“My style of leadership is to be open and transparent and to listen,” he said.

“I will stand out so people shouldn’t be afraid to say hello in the supermarket or come and see me in my office and discuss any issues they might have.”

Mr Joiner said there were some major differences between Cook Shire and the Shire of Menzies, but also found some similarities.

Amazingly, Menzies is bigger than Cook, although the population difference is huge.

There are almost 5000 people living in Cook Shire, while just 500 people live across Menzies.

“The biggest difference is that Menzies had a large rate base due to mining, while Cook Shire doesn’t have a massive amount of ratepayers,” Mr Joiner said.

“But Menzies is only an hour and 15 minutes from Kalgoorlie, a city of 30,000 people.”

Mr Joiner said he grew up wanting to be a pilot but when he realised that he was too tall for a cockpit he turned to air traffic control.

Cook Shire mayor Peter Scott said the new CEO had the right kind of experience to take on the position.

“With extensive executive leadership experience in local and federal government, as well as private enterprise, Brian’s appointment represents our ambition to maintain the strong, innovative leadership Linda has provided,” he said.

“Brian also has demonstrated experience driving and delivering dynamic and synergistic investment and economic development opportunities to regional areas, and communities.

“This aligns with council’s focus on strengthening, growing and future-proofing our shire, and the Cape York community.”

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