Ipswich administrator leaving early to become Moreton Bay Regional Council CEO

Ipswich's interim administrator will leave the role a month early to become the new chief executive of Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Greg Chemello will take the reins in January, after .

Greg Chemello will leave in January ahead of Ipswich's local government elections in March 2020.

A damning external review in September found serious and widespread failings in leadership, governance and communication at Moreton Bay Regional Council.

The third-largest local government in the country commissioned the review in February, days after Brisbane Times reported former managers describing a .

Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland said he looked forward to Mr Chemello bringing his "magic" and described him as "one of the most competent and forward-thinking people in local government".

"In less than 18 months, he has managed to transform Ipswich from a council mired by controversy and corruption into a respected operation where people look forward to going to work, with a focus on improving services for the people of Ipswich," Cr Sutherland said.

"I can’t begin to imagine how low morale must have been amongst the staff at Ipswich or the enormity of the task that Greg took on there, yet he seems to have pulled off the impossible.

"He’s exactly the person we need to not only deliver the changes recommended to us in Grassroots Connections Australia’s very blunt assessment of our operational culture, but also articulate how we evolve beyond that.

"Greg’s 35 years’ experience in planning and development, project delivery and government sectors are useful, but most invaluable to MBRC is the fact that he’s spent the last 20 years honing his leadership focus on organisations experiencing substantial transformation."

Mr Chemello said he had done "most" of what he needed to do at Ipswich.

“It’s actually good timing because we’ve done the bulk of what we need to do in terms of councillors, future councillors and ... the new local laws are in place," he told ABC Radio Brisbane on Thursday.

"It’s a different set of issues there, in the CEO role there are already councillors in place, so it’s really working with elected representatives, the community and the staff to get that place humming along.

"Moreton Bay's issues are not the same as Ipswich by any stretch, I want to make that very clear – it’s a very different set of circumstances there.

"I’ve read the [Moreton Bay Regional Council] report. It’s very sad that it’s at that point. It can be salvaged and that’s the job, to get it back on track, and I’m looking forward to it actually.

"The faith in governments has been rattled and local government has copped a bit of a hammering."

Moreton Bay Regional Council acting CEO Graeme Kanofski will continue in the role until Mr Chemello starts on January 13, 2020.


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