10 May 2023

Two in the race for council CEO position

| Matt Nicholls
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COOK Shire Council will interview two candidates on the ground this week with a view of appointing one of them as the next chief executive officer.

Outgoing CEO Linda Cardew announced her retirement last year and has a couple of months left in the chair to help the council deliver the 2022-23 budget and conduct a handover with her replacement.

Mayor Peter Scott said the next chief executive would have big shoes to fill but said the quality of candidates for the role was exceptional.

“We had over 30 applicants and there were some really good ones,” he said.

“The initial recruitment process was handled by Leading Roles and then it was up to myself and the deputy mayor (Robyn Holmes) and our HR manager to get through the applications.

“Once we had a shorter list we brought all the councillors in on the process. We got it down to about 12, then six and now two.”

Cr Scott said Cook Shire Council was a unique regional municipality and would not suit every person.

“What’s important is not just the technical ability and experience, but also the culture you bring to the role and create,” he said.


MEANWHILE, at last week’s scheduled April council meeting, the council awarded a $1.1 million contract to the Cairns-based company CIVFORM to replace Jensens Crossing Road Bridge.

“The existing bridge has reached the end of its useful life,” the council report said.

  • THREE key events were given the go-ahead by the council.

The Laura Races and Laura Rodeo were approved to be staged in Jine, while the Orin Aya Festival in September was also given the green light.

Around 2800 people are expected at the Homerule Rainforest Lodge-based event.

  • ARCHER River Quarry was granted permission to increase its capacity.

Bowyer Archer River Quarries asked to increase the annual volume of extracted material from 100,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes per annum, comprising of 290,000 tonnes of hard rock and 10,000 tonnes of sand.

  • COUNCILLORS will receive a small pay rise from July 1.

The mayor’s salary will rise by $2164 to $110,386 per annum.

The deputy mayor will receive $63,684, up $1249 from 2021-22, while councillors will receive an extra $1082 per year with an annual salary of $55,192.

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