The Department of Education says it is confident that the new principal at Tamworth Public School can fulfill his duties while also serving on Wollongong council.
Chris Connor has been announced as the new principal at the Carthage St school following what the department has described as an “open, competitive selection process”.
Earlier in the month the Illawarra Mercury reported Mr Connor would stay on as a Wollongong councillor despite obtaining employment in Tamworth.
“The department expects Mr Connor will be able to effectively carry out the full range of activities and responsibilities required of all NSW public school principals,” an education spokesman told The Leader.
The Mercury reported while moving to Tamworth, Mr Conner was adamant his ability to represent residents of Dapto, Port Kembla, Berkeley and Warrawong would not change.
He will stay on as a councillor in Wollongong – over 500 kilometres from his new home – after being re-elected to his role in September.
“I will be at the end of an email or phone call, and I will receive all the briefings and everything else the councillors receive,” Mr Connor said.
“I’ve got projects and things I’m overseeing – this is a short three-year term and I am going to make sure the interests of my ward are going to be represented.”
Cr Connor said he did not have plans to move away when he was campaigning to be elected.
“It was one of those out-of-the-blue opportunities,” he said.
“And it was done in full knowledge that I would continue being a councillor.”
Cr Connor noted the NSW Local Government Act allowed councillors to live out of area, as long as they adhered to meeting requirements and fulfilled their duties.
“I’ll be attending meetings and events and I still want to actively represent (the) area,” he said.
“Qantas and Virgin fly daily to Tamworth.
“And while I’m working in Tamworth, I will still have my home in Dapto.”
Mr Connor replaces Lee Preston, who retired from the position last year.