Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Henderson's Moira vision

Stability and respect– these are the foundations Mark Henderson, Moira Shire’s newly announced CEO, believes will launch the shire into a positive future.

FIONA BLICK April 8, 2014 2:43pm

In a candid conversation with the Yarrawonga Chronicle, Mr Henderson outlined his goals for the first 12 months in office and his vision for the future; he takes up his post on May 19.

“I will try from the outset to help councillors and the organisation to reach a point of harmony; very simply this is the only way to run a business, when everyone is aligned and working together,” he said.

Mr Henderson spoke openly regarding his thoughts on Moira’s two main issues, the independent probity audit, councillors recently voted unanimously to put a call out for tenders, and the allegations of widespread bullying.

“I will be proposing to councillors to split the probity audit into two parts and perform it internally,” he said.

“Initially I would undertake a financial due diligence audit which will provide an understanding of what the economic state of the council is and this will include the millions of dollars of disaster funding given to the shire.

“The second part would be an operational review which, if undertaken by an external auditor would take a large amount of time and cost a great deal of money.”

Mr Henderson believes the shire could not afford the cost of an independent, external consultant.

“In my experience if you bring in a consultant they will draw on the knowledge of the people that already work in the shire, so why not do it internally and save money.”

An ‘open door’ policy will be instituted upon Mr Henderson’s arrive at Moira Shire.

“My door will rarely be shut,” he said.

“On the allegations of bullying and harassment, I want to expose all those issues; there is absolutely no room for this type of behaviour in the workplace.

“There will be a lot of respect flowing from me to the staff and the councillors and I expect respect back in return.”

Mr Henderson acknowledged he had spoken in depth to Executive Director of Local Government Nick Foa and said he had known Mr Foa personally for several years.

“Nick told me his concerns for Moira Shire and on that basis we will work from there; I will be keeping him briefed on the developments and progress of Moira Shire going forward,” Mr Henderson said.

“I will certainly be speaking with each councillor in turn on their concerns, issues and dreams for Moira Shire.

“I have already spoken with Mayor Peter Mansfield on the issues raised by Mr Foa.”

Most importantly, Mr Henderson aims to convince the state government Moira Shire Council is running with good governance and therefore would not require any intervention.

“We will be running a stable operation,” he said.

Mr Henderson also said speaking with Australian Services Union representative Bill King will be “early on his agenda” after he begins on May 19.

A strong hierarchy is a key to success in the running of a shire, according to Mr Henderson.

“The CEO and senior management team are ultimately responsible for the business,” he said.

“The directors’ performance will flow from mine.

“They will definitely have Key Performance Indicators to achieve and if I do my job, then the directors will do theirs.

“We are all on performance based contracts and I am very happy to work with the staff that are already employed, they will have a wealth of knowledge and I am not foreshadowing a staffing restructure at this stage.”

On the issue of Mr Henderson’s much talked about remuneration package he simply said “I think I will be value for money”.

“I bring a lot of experience and knowledge to this job,” he said.

“The fundamentals of Moira Shire are good; it should be a really great shire and I believe it will be.”

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