We know Local Government staff help make the community tick…
My current Acting CEO assignment at the Shire of Pingelly has reminded me yet again of the importance of local governments in rural and regional areas. They are a significant player in the local economy and staff usually play key roles in community life. Sometimes the community can be negative towards its local government but, like in any family, if someone from the outside threatens the Shire, woe betide them. The potential loss of senior staff from one or more towns is often a key concern. Even those who might sometimes want to lynch the CEO will fight to keep that position in their town.
…now it’s official
The Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG) has just released a Profile of the Local Government Workforce. Key findings from the profile include:
- local governments are particularly important employers in rural and regional areas and the economic strength of these regions is increased by the capacity of local governments;
- compared with other levels of government (and other sectors) the workforce is numerically significant and offers a range of high quality jobs and long term career opportunities across Australia. This can have significant flow on effects in regional areas such as opportunities for on-going training and career path development, and keeping a young family in the area and a part of the community;
- with the pending retirement of a senior male cohort, women will soon appear in the most senior management roles in local government if they are supported with continued flexible work opportunities and provided with developmental opportunities;
- local government supports diversity and Indigenous employment more actively than other spheres of public sector employment.
… and the Shire of Pingelly is a good example
The Shire of Pingelly reflects these trends. It is a significant local employer and plays a vital role in the local economy and community. It actively promotes innovative ways of collaborating with its neighbours to maximise benefits for all communities in its region. It employs women in senior roles and two aboriginal men in its works team of 16.
I started my local government career in country councils and now, after decades in urban settings, it is great to go back to my roots in this short term assignment in a vital country local government.
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