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Chief brings fresh eyes

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2013

Interim general manager Greg Wright. Interim general manager Greg Wright.

By Erica Visser

City Council's new interim general manager is hoping his fresh perspective will help during these challenging financial times.

Greg Wright yesterday started work as a temporary replacement for former GM, Frank Zaknich.

Mr Wright will stay in the job for four months, after which the GM position will be advertised again.

He told the BDT he did not intend to apply and would return to his home in Picton, 80 kilometres south-west of Sydney where he and his family have lived for 25 years.

Mr Wright's most recent position was as GM of Camden Council, a suburb on the edge of Sydney with 60,000 residents.

He was dismissed late last year due to what he described as a "clash of personalities".

However, he assured the BDT that he had an "easy-going" nature and would get along with Council's employees and the community.

He said that it had been many years since he had worked in a country town.

"I wouldn't say it's a culture shock but it's definitely a different kettle of fish."

Mr Wright admitted that there was a chance that four months might be too short a time to make a difference at Council.

"There is a risk of that, and in four months I could never really get a good grip of all the issues affecting the community," he said.

"I think a fresh pair of eyes can be a good opportunity."

One of the most important challenges facing him in the coming months is the development of Council's 2013/2014 Operational Budget, with the uncertainty of an upcoming State Government appeal to the Land Environment Council over the Perilya mine rates debacle.

Council will not know until the appeal is heard in late July whether it has to pay Perilya almost $7 million in overpaid rates from 2007 until 2010.

Mr Wright said that because of this the budget would have to be carefully implemented.

He is due to finish at Council just days after the appeal is heard.

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