Council appoints new acting general manager

ON THE JOB: Newcastle City Council’s new acting general manager, Ken Gouldthorp.Former Toowoomba Regional Council chief executive Ken Gouldthorp has been chosen to guide Newcastle City Council through its cost-cutting process.

The Newcastle Herald can reveal that Mr Gouldthorp has accepted a six month contract to be the council’s acting general manager and will begin his tenure next Monday.

He succeeds departed council boss Phil Pearce in a role that has become a poisoned chalice in the city.

Since 2008 the revolving door of the general manager’s office has spat out Janet Dore, Lindy Hyam, acting boss Rob Noble and Mr Pearce.

It is unclear at this stage whether Mr Gouldthorp will be a candidate for the permanent job.

Mr Goulthorp left Toowoomba Regional Council – where he managed a budget of about $300 million and 1600 full-time staff – unexpectedly late last year about 18 months before his contract was due to expire.

He was in charge at Toowoomba during the horrific flood emergency in January 2011.

Previously he has been chief executive at Mackay council in Queensland and has degrees in economics and finance, and a Masters of Commerce.

Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy has since released a statement congratulating Mr Gouldthorp.

“I have been in contact with Mr Gouldthorp this morning and am very pleased he has accepted the position of interim general manager and will be able to start work on Monday (March 11),” Cr McCloy said.

“Mr Gouldthorp brings with him 20 years’ experience working in executive management roles including 10 years’ experience as a CEO in local government in Queensland.

“Mr Gouldthorp is very keen to get started and help council’s executive leadership team guide the city through its current financial challenges.”

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