A Message from the Chairman

April 2023

The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC

People the Key to Success

Three months of the 2023 calendar year gone, and less than three months until the end of the 2023 financial year.

Another Council sacked in Victoria and Administrators put in charge.

Next month the budgets of both the Federal and State governments to be handed down.

As the year continues to unfold the pressures on ratepayers and municipalities will continue to grow as the cost of living adds more pressure to families, councils, and in particular small business.

Increasingly we are seeing more empty shops in strip shopping centres as owners and operators are closing as their leases expire.

Mooted changes to the rules around superannuation and the impact of higher land tax assessments are starting to feed through the economy, where uncertainty and costs are having an increasing detrimental effect.

There is also the ever-present need and difficulty for municipalities to attract and retain good, qualified staff, particularly in leadership positions. The days of people entering municipal service at a young age working their way up the corporate ladder and one day becoming CEO is rare and unusual.

Such qualified individuals developed an intimate knowledge and experience of the workings of councils and the requirements within their council area.

In years gone by there was great attention placed on the profession of municipal service. That is not as apparent today. Nor is the continuous training of those involved in municipal service.

Peak bodies such as the MAV, LGAQ and LGNSW have less clout, not only in advocating for their members, but also with their respective State governments.

In the past leaders of those organisations, both elected and organisational, were individuals of influence, listened to, and respected because of their advocacy – they led for the member Councils they represented.

There is no such thing as standing still, in life, businesses or Councils.

The only thing we can be sure of is that the rate of change will accelerate in the years ahead.

As always, the ingredient that will contribute most to an organisation’s success will be the quality of people they employ and with whom they partner.

The management of staff/people is such an important aspect of ensuring the best of people stay with an organisation for a worthwhile period.

Therefore, with all the challenges we face, the most important function for elected Councillors is the selection of their CEO, and a strategy and policy that oversees staff selection and retention by the CEO.

I always ask myself in the businesses I am associated with today is have we got the best or second-best individual within each discipline working for that business. If not, I am limiting my prospects for growth and success.

So regardless of the challenges ahead, I remain an optimist. Importantly we are here to meet the challenges, and hopefully work prospectively as opposed to responding to circumstances.

Onwards and upwards!

The Hon Jeff Kennett AC
CT Management Group

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