TAMWORTH’S planning and compliance director Peter Thompson has been snapped up by Wagga City Council as its new general manager.
Mr Thompson was appointed on a five-year contract following an extraordinary meeting of Wagga City Council on Friday morning and replaces Alan Eldridge.
Mr Thompson arrives from Tamworth Regional Council. He held the role of general counsel for the past 10 years and for the past two has also held the role of planning and compliance director.
Tamworth’s acting general manager Chris Weber said the move was a tremendous career opportunity for Peter.
“Tamworth’s loss is certainly Wagga’s gain,” Mr Weber said.
“As a member of our executive management team, Peter has played an integral role in our evolution as one of the state’s most significant regional centres.
“Peter’s achievements in recent times include the purchase of lands adjacent to the airport that will cater for future economic growth, the face lift of Tamworth’s CBD with the Fitzroy Street project, and assisting the residents of Woolomin secure a safe water supply.
“Peter will leave big shoes to fill and wish him every success in his new role in Wagga.”
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey was pleased to announce Mr Thompson as the new GM after an “extensive recruitment process”.
“My fellow councillors and I are excited by this appointment and feel that he will bring the level of stability, commitment and strategic thinking that the community is looking for,” Cr Conkey said.
“With major projects such as the Bomen Enabling Roads and Main City Levee upgrade currently under way and the city experiencing strong growth, my fellow councillors and I are confident Mr Thompson will help further establish Wagga Wagga as a thriving regional capital.”
Mr Thompson is qualified in both science and law and is accredited by the Law Society of New South Wales as a specialist in Local Government and Planning Law, with seven years’ experience in private practice.
He has held subsequent employment with the NSW Environment Protection Authority as a Senior Operations Officer, and the Department of Land and Water Conservation.
“My aim as general manager is to deliver a progressive local government authority with an impeccable level of integrity and public confidence,” Mr Thompson said.
“I'm incredibly impressed by Wagga Wagga and its facilities and I'm equally impressed and excited by what it wants to achieve over the coming years.
“The strategic direction articulated by the council is clear and clever. It will deliver prosperity, quality lifestyles and security to the people of Wagga Wagga and I look forward to being a part of the key organisation responsible for making that happen.”
Local Government NSW Management Solutions coordinated an extensive merit-based recruitment process, including nation-wide advertising that resulted in 25 applications for the position by the August 21 closing date.
Following short-listing, a panel consisting of the Cr Conkey, deputy mayor Dallas Tout, councillor Vanessa Keenan and Albury City general manager Frank Zaknich conducted first-round interviews.
Four candidates were then interviewed by all councillors present at an extraordinary meeting held on Tuesday, September 26, where it was resolved for the mayor and the deputy mayor to negotiate with the preferred candidate.
Mr Thompson will take up the role of general manager in about six weeks.
Mr James Bolton will continue as general manager until Mr Thompson starts.