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“I have been made aware of a concern in regard to a recent appointment of a NBRC employee who works remotely.

On behalf of Councillors, I would like to stress where-ever possible Council positions will be filled by local residents or people willing to join our wonderful community and embrace our home. This is the desire and direction of your elected council.

It has come to my attention that recently, in the case of one role in Council, a role in finance, despite great efforts, we could not accomplish this.

The finance position is charged with running the a critical area of Council and requires an experienced and specialised candidate. In a strong bid to fill this job locally, HR advertised three times, in May 2020 June and July 2021. Unfortunately, I have been advised no one applied who met the relevant experience and/or skills and qualifications. Being a time critical position for council, it was decided by HR to offer the opportunity to work remotely. Given such arrangements are now commonplace in most workplaces due to Covid it did not trigger the administration to alert council to this decision.

For the record, I was not aware of this arrangement, nor were Councillors. All Councillors (including myself) are deeply disappointed the role wasn’t filled by a local resident or someone in a position to move to our region, even after extensive and numerous advertisement attempts to attract such a candidate.

That said, the CEO and senior staff have been directed to attract the best people possible to work with us however, in addition to this direction they also are tasked with keeping the operations of council running, come what may.

Councillors are responsible for overseeing all council operations and as such, have now requested that Councillors will be kept informed about any future challenges to fill positions within the NBRC. This request has been welcomed by the CEO.

Further to this, it has come to our (councillors) attention, that the NBRC is also currently advertising for two highly specialised project managers. Once again, I’d like to stress to potential local applicants, we welcome your applications with open arms. The advertisement did make reference to being “based on the Sunshine Coast”. Upon investigation by Councillors, it was revealed that this statement was incorrect, and the positions will be based within the region, with flexible working conditions as per the National Employment Standards for the preferred applicant.

Councillors are passionate about job creation for locals and attracting people to embrace this region we all love.

Thank you for taking the time to understand the challenges we face alongside many regional, rural and remote councils, and please trust we are working hard with the best interests of the North Burnett at heart.”

Rachel Chambers

Mayor North Burnett Regional Council