No more Gloucester mayorLocal staff protected

25-04-2020 by admin

THE Great Lakes, Taree and Gloucester councils have merged into one MidCoast Council as of midday on Thursday May 12.
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John Rosenbaum says he is disappointed on behalf of council.

“All councillors, including the mayor and deputy mayor, have been sacked, for no fault of their own,” former Gloucester mayor John Rosenbaum said.

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The Baird government has created 19 new councils across Sydney and NSW. Retired state member for Myall Lakes, John Turner has been appointed as the administrator of the new Mid-Coast Council due to his knowledge of the local government sector.

Interim general manager is former Great Lakes Council’s Glenn Handford. He will work with two deputy managers, former Gloucester general manager Danny Green and Ron Posselt, former general manager of Greater Taree.

Mr Rosenbaum said in light of a forced amalgamation the merger announced was better than the possible alignment with Dungog, as he feels Gloucester has a better connection with Taree and Great Lakes (Dungog’s future is still being considered). But the three-way merger is bittersweet for Mr Rosenbaum, who expressed disappointment on behalf of Gloucester’s former councillors.

Mr Handford says staff from the three former Great Lakes, Greater Taree and Gloucester councils will retain their jobs – for now. Most have contracts which protect them for the next three years. With the exception of senior staff and staff members with expiring contracts, council staff at Gloucester are protected. According to Mr Handford this is a legislative requirement because Gloucester has under 5000 residents. He said the government was very specific about ensuring staff retain their jobs.

Mr Rosenbaum said (the former) Gloucester Shire Council’s public meeting will continue tonight at 5.30pm at the Gloucester Soldiers Club. Initially scheduled to address a range of amalgamation questions, state member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen and federal member for Lyne David Gillespie have indicated they will not be accepting their invitations. Those politicians who will be present are federal Greens candidate Julie Lyford, Peter Primrose (on behalf of state opposition leader, Luke Foley), federal Labor candidate Peter Alley, Greens MP David Shoebridge and federal Independent Brad Christensen.

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