Tamworth Regional Council to announce new planning director 'early in the new year'

IT takes two to replace departed planning director Peter Thompson, Tamworth Regional Council’s general manager says.

Mr Thompson resigned from his dual role as a director and legal counsel in October to take up post as Wagga Wagga City Council’s general manager.

His absence has caused TRC to rejig its structure as the hunt for a replacement rolls on, Paul Bennett said.

“Peter Thompson filled both of those roles before he went to Wagga Wagga, but it was an enormous job,” Mr Bennett said.

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“So we’ve actually separated the two roles, so we’ll now have a planning director and a legal counsel.

“Just because the organisation is so busy with its growth and the acquisition and sale of property and with the development that’s going on, that job was just too big for one person.”

Mr Thompson held the role of general counsel at Tamworth Regional Council and for the past two years has also held the planning and compliance director position.

Applications have closed for the directorial role and Mr Bennett said it would be filled early in the New Year, after receiving a decent response from some “good talent here locally”.

Lucy Walker has been acting as director of planning and compliance, sitting in on a number of ordinary council meetings with the executive management team.

While the replacement remains to be seen, the GM said they’ll be stepping in to the shoes of a “one-of-a-kind”.

“He had probably the best skill-set I’ve seen in local government in 30 years and very measured personality and was straight down the line,” Mr Bennett said.

“[He was] really ethical, but was always looking for a good outcome for the community and the council.”

Mr Bennett said Wagga were “very fortunate” to pick up Peter Thompson for its GM role.

“Wagga [is] very, very fortunate to get someone like him,” he said.

“Probably exactly what they need given their tumultuous history in recent years.

“Peter will be up to that challenge and, like I said, you don’t look to replace someone like Peter Thompson, you rethink the business and work out how you can get some of the skill-sets that can fill some of the gaps.”

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