Central Highlands Council to shed 70 jobs in cutback

THE Central Highlands Regional Council will shed 70 jobs in wide-ranging workplace reforms.

The region's economic nosedive, a continued squeeze on available grants and subsidies and the impending end to six years of flood restoration work were the drivers for chief executive officer Scott Mason to trim the 520-strong workforce after a 10-month review.

Raising rates to offset the situation was not an option, Mr Mason said.

Staff have been given a copy of the proposed restructure that will affect all council departments. It will take effect mid-month.

"I think things will get bumpy in the next couple of weeks, but the key thing is there is no final structure prepared yet; it's a draft with a consultation period," Mr Mason said.

"Then we will roll up our sleeves and get on with it."

Mr Mason described one of the biggest challenges facing the council as not having been able to function normally since the 2008 and 2010-11 floods which created $130million in repair work to the road network and town infrastructure.

Less than $5million in Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements- sanctioned work remained.

"This 'abnormal' has been our normal state for six years and if there isn't another natural disaster we won't have that work in front of us - that is what we've got to prepare for," Mr Mason said.

"There was probably room for us to have acted sooner than this, but significant change takes time.

"Around 12 months ago, our staff attrition rate was around 30-35% and that abnormally high turnover was partly to do with the type of economy we're operating in.

"That has dropped to about 10-11%."

Mr Mason said the restructure would identify the positions to go.

He said natural attrition would play its part.

The target was 40 jobs in six months and 30 more by 2016 to create a sustainable business.

"During the delivery of this reform we are relying on natural attrition as much as we can, but we also need to ensure we have a good, healthy succession plan for our staff, being trained and cross-trained so when vacancies arise, they can be filled internally," Mr Mason said.

As part of Mr Mason's vision for the future workforce, he hoped to be able to announce that council would offer a limited number of traineeships and apprenticeships targeting local youth.

"This is about the council giving back to the communities and supporting communities," Mr Mason said.

"If we can recruit local people from our communities, we can grow them up and start to regenerate our workforce locally.

"We need to invest in our people.

"It makes for a better organisation and I think it will have a lasting, positive impact on our culture and instil civic and community pride."

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Fr Dan was a priest of the people

CELEBRATION: Fr Dan Moore at his 50 years of priesthood jubilee.

A vibrant life remembered.

Mayor responds to union criticism over DV leave

Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes.

According to the Services Union, council is all talk, little action.

Coal mine takes the next step

FULL VIEW: The Olive Downs project.

A mine that will create more than 1000 jobs for CQ is a step closer.

Local Partners

First Muslim wins his Oscar

Oscars 2017: Live Coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.

Oscars guest’s shocking wardrobe malfunction

Blanca Blanco arrives for the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 26 February 2017.

ACTRESS suffers X-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Star style at the Oscars 2017 red carpet

Nicole Kidman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Oscars 2017: Red Carpet Dresses and Outfits — Best Dressed Celebs.

Married At First Sight couple flouts the rules

Sean and Susan in a scene from Married At First Sight.

ONE couple is openly flouting the rules of Married At First Sight.

The one film that could beat La La Land

Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight.

OSCARS 2017 predictions: Who will win on the big night?

Actor Bill Paxton has died aged 61

Bill Paxton at the premiere of "Captain Phillips".

American actor and director Bill Paxton has died at 61 due

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!