Council plans to advertise CEO position

City of Greater Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann. Picture: DARREN HOWE
City of Greater Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann. Picture: DARREN HOWE

UPDATE: 3.30PM  It is understood the current chief executive officer of the City of Greater Bendigo sought reappointment prior to Friday’s announcement the city intended to advertise the position. 

Section 94 of the Local Government Act 1989 states a council may pass a resolution to reappoint a CEO in the six months prior to a person’s CEO contract is due to expire 

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said council had the option to reappoint or advertise and they chose the latter. 

“People will seek reappointment but that isn’t a given,” she said.

UPDATE 11.30 The City of Greater Bendigo’s plan to advertise the position of chief executive officer Craig Niemann was not performance related or driven by particular councillors, according to the mayor, Margaret O’Rourke. 

Cr O’Rourke said council had undertook a performance review with Mr Niemann, the results of which were “very good”. 

“It’s not a performance discussion, council’s view is that we should test the market,” she said.

When asked if the decision had caused division among councillors, Cr O’Rourke said: “There was a discussion about that (the CEO position), and that will come out to play in the next council meeting.”

“There’s no opinions of Craig, this is around the process.”

Mr Niemann’s contract is up in December and councillors will vote on whether to formally advertise for the position at a council meeting on August 16. 

EARLIER THE City of Greater Bendigo has announced it plans to advertise the position of chief executive officer Craig Niemann as his contract approaches its expiry in December.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said councillors wanted to ensure a “competitive recruitment process”, but the decision will need to be endorsed at the next council meeting.

Cr O’Rourke said the move to advertise the position was not a reflection of Mr Niemann’s performance – rather, it was part of best practice.

“This is both sound business practice and in line with community expectations,” she said.

“Our community plan outlines our desire to lead and govern for all, demonstrate transparency and accountability and explain the reasons for our decisions.

“It is normal business practice to test the market and Council looks forward to receiving applications from a wide range of candidates.”

Mr Niemann said he respected the decision, but did not say whether he would re-apply.

“I believe that I have served the council, the organisation and the community well over the past 10 years,” he said.

“I am proud of my achievements during my time in the role and I am also very proud of the staff that work for the City of Greater Bendigo delivering great services to the community every day.”