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Council’s new recruit a real asset

Wednesday, 28th December, 2011

INNOVATOR: Council’s new business and service specialist Kate O’Neill says she is looking forward to spending the next five years in the city. INNOVATOR: Council’s new business and service specialist Kate O’Neill says she is looking forward to spending the next five years in the city.

By Erica Visser

City Council has created a new job after a recent organisation review revealed a greater focus was needed on corporate services and management. 

The revised position of Group Manager of Business Improvement and Corporate Services Specialist has been filled by Kate O’Neill.

Ms O’Neill, who has worked in senior roles in Adelaide and Mount Barker councils, said that she was interested in the job but it was a visit to Broken Hill that sold it to her.

“I came here to see what it was like and I felt at ease. I loved the town and the people have been very welcoming,” Ms O’Neill said.

“As a family we are really enjoying what the town has to offer. It’s really unique.”

Ms O’Neill, who has a five-year contract, said that the city seemed like a great place to raise a family.

“I have a three-and-a-half-year-old son Josh,” she said.

“We’ve been enjoying going to the swimming centre and Bell’s for a milkshake.”

Ms O’Neill said that she hoped to bring her local government experience to the fore.

“I hope I’ll bring fun and innovation and help build a constructive culture.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with council, with the film studio projects and others.”

Ms O’Neill is also part of Council’s new cost-cutting committee. She said that finance was a problem common to all councils.

“I think it’s going to be quite a busy year with the elections in September and the community and delivery plan kicking off.

“My major goals involve getting in place and continuing major projects within our area.”

Ms O’Neill said that she was familiarising herself with the city and had already taken a weekend visit to Silverton and the Stephens Creek Reservoir.

She said that Council had also helped her settle in.

“The induction program has been a great opportunity, it’s been really good.

“My continued work with councils has taught me to be flexible in my approach.”

Council’s General Manager, Frank Zaknich, said that Ms O’Neill was chosen from an impressive field of candidates and that Council was “delighted” to be working with her.

“We look forward to Ms O’Neill settling into the role and bringing her obvious experience and enthusiasm to assisting us all in delivering better results for Council and Broken Hill,” Mr Zaknich said.

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