Livingstone Shire Council CEO Chris Murdoch says the Organisational Health Check was a must.
Livingstone Shire Council CEO Chris Murdoch says the Organisational Health Check was a must. Chris Ison

Review leads to Livingstone Council move to shrink workforce

JOBS will be reduced within the Livingstone Shire Council over the next three years, as the council's first "health check" since de-amalgamation reveals what many of us hear during our check-ups: It's time to tighten the belt.

The recommendation to begin the process of growing a smaller organisation has emerged from the first organisational health check since the council de-amalgamated from the Rockhampton Regional Council on January 1, 2014.


Much has changed for the council in terms of how the organisation is seen and expectations of the community it serves, says council CEO Chris Murdoch.

Ms Murdoch said the transition had not been without challenges and the council had undertaken the organisational health check to review how it was functioning and to identify opportunities for improvement.

"An independent team from the University of Technology Sydney Centre for Local Government undertook the organisational health check over a six-month period from May to November 2017, specifically focusing on organisational culture, service delivery, organisational design (including structure) as well as building capacity and capability within the organisation," Ms Murdoch said.

"This was foreshadowed at the community meetings held in August/September last year and the need for council to grow into a smaller, more efficient and effective organisation over time which would involve reducing our staff profile over the next three years.

"The challenging economic conditions over the past few years have meant that council has needed to stimulate the local economy with projects that have provided employment and a substantial injection of spend into local business.

"A significant proportion of funding for those projects has been provided by other levels of government."

Ms Murdoch said the next three years would be a period of consolidation, and in line with a reduction in the council's capital spend as major projects came to completion, there would be a corresponding reduction in the council's workforce.

"A number of positions have been held vacant in anticipation of the restructure and there are a number of contracts and temporary employment arrangements that will end over the next six months or so which will reduce the impact on the permanent workforce," she said.

"Our commitment throughout this process is to ensure staff are treated fairly, are appropriately consulted on the proposed changes and supported throughout the process.

"The changes to implement the new structure once determined will occur through a process of voluntary separations, redeployment and natural attrition."

Ms Murdoch said more details would be publicly available once decisions on the new organisational structure were made towards the end of the month.

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