Council confirms extension of contract term of Chief Executive Officer


Sunshine Coast Council has confirmed that the term of the contract of employment for its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was extended to 31 December 2021.
Mayor Mark Jamieson today obtained unanimous approval for his motion that the term of the extension to the CEO’s contract of employment and the reasons for granting that contract extension, be made public.
On 28 February 2019, Council agreed to extend the term of the contract of employment of the CEO.
“At that time, it had been identified that under the terms of the five-year contract of employment for the CEO, a decision had to be made by Council by 20 March 2020 at the latest, on whether or not the contract would be renewed,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This meant there was a decision that needed to be made by this Council – not the next Council – as to whether the contract of employment for the CEO would be renewed or the term extended.
“Council was also aware that the decision date of 20 March 2020 would fall within the statutory caretaker period preceding the local government election on 28 March 2020”.
Council is prohibited under section 90B (1) of the Local Government Act 2009 from making decisions on the CEO’s employment arrangements during that time.
“Council therefore, made a decision following a request from the CEO, to extend the term of the contract of employment,” Mayor Jamieson said.
The decision to extend the term of the contract of employment was made to enable the CEO to oversee the delivery of a number of key priorities for Council including:
1.    settling in the Council elected in 2020;
2.    overseeing the delivery of the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project and the handover of the runway;
3.    ensuring the International Broadband submarine cable landing is delivered and integrated with appropriate backhaul arrangements;
4.    the finalisation of the construction program for the Sunshine Coast City Hall; and
5.    finalisation of the detailed business case for an integrated public transport solution for the Sunshine Coast.

“The key principle underpinning this decision is that the extended contract term would provide some clarity and certainty for the CEO and stability in leadership of the organisation for the incoming Council,” Mayor Jamieson said.   
“This was a prudent decision to make given the status of these significant region-shaping infrastructure projects and the fact the incoming Council - which we know will comprise at least four new Councillors - will effectively have just over two months to prepare and adopt its first budget.
“In addition, the incoming Council will very quickly need to consider its position on, and commitments to, the proposed South East Queensland City Deal.”
Council CEO Michael Whittaker - as the other party to the contract to employment – was supportive of the public release of the information relating to his contract term.
No other conditions of the contract of employment were altered when Council decided to extend the term of the CEO’s contract.

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