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Northern Rivers Local News

Council split emerges over acting GM appointment

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General Manager Ashley Lindsay
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Council split emerges over acting GM appointment

By Tim Howard

The newly appointed acting general manager of Clarence Valley Council, Laura Black, finds herself under siege from day one of her appointment.
Last week Mayor Jim Simmons dropped three mayoral minutes to deal with the imminent retirement of general manager Ashley Lindsay.
All created intense debate, but the one recommending director corporate and governance Laura Black replace Mr Ashley Lindsay in late November revealed a split in councillors’ views.
Mr Lindsay and council have agreed on exit strategy allowing Mr Lindsay to take leave from November 26 until his retirement date on October 7, 2022.
Councillors voted 5-4 to approve his recommendation of Ms Black but appear to have set a time bomb ticking during her appointment.
The five councillors who voted for her appointment: Crs Simmons, Jason Kingsley, Richie Williamson, Andrew Baker and Arthur Lysaught have said they won’t stand at the next election.
The four councillors up for re-election – Crs Peter Ellem, Debrah Novak, Greg Clancy and Karen Toms – all supported council finding a locum GM until a permanent replacement was found.
The mayor’s minute survived an amendment from Cr Novak to appoint a locum instead of Ms Black.
Cr Baker sought to scupper the amendment asking the identity of the locum.
He argued the Local Government required the council appoint a particular person in the role and leaving the appointment open to a “locum” was not lawful.
But from a suggestion from Cr Ellem and after discussion that the wording in the amendment change to “locum general manager”, the mayor considered the amendment could proceed.
Cr Baker tried again, questioning if the amendment succeeded, it would put the appointment of the acting GM into the hands of the general manager.
The mayor didn’t think so and pointed out there was no actual vacancy until October 7 next year.
Cr Lysaught tried his luck.
‘Do you lack confidence in the mayor’s mayoral minute, or do you lack confidence in the person nominated to fill the role?” he asked Cr Novak. But the mayor ruled his question as “unfair”.
In debate Cr Lysaught said Ms Black had performed her duties professional and “more than capable manner”.
“You wouldn’t submit this recommendation if you didn’t believe so yourself,” he said.
“It’s been traditional. Ever since I have been part of this particular council and the previous council, one of the senior staff was always appointed to fill in during general manager absences.”
Cr Baker dismissed the idea of the new council selecting an acting GM from outside the organisation.
“There could be up to nine fresh pairs of eyes sitting around this table,” he said.
“It would be wrong of this council to leave the position of acting general manager with someone who mightn’t even know their way around the building.”
Mr Baker said it could be hard for a new council to know it they had found a stand in who knew much about the what’s happening at council.
Cr Toms said council had experience with locus general managers when former GM Stuart McPherson was injured.
“Then mayor Richie Williamson engaged Mike Colreavy to do the job from outside the council and he turned out to be an excellent choice,” she said.
Cr Toms said the council had someone in mind for the role who had experience in the role.
“We need a fresh eye,” she said. “If there are nine new councillors, we need to give them right as councillors to appoint somebody they choose.”
Cr Toms said she was not critical of the job Ms Black had done while Mr Lindsay was on sick leave.

General Manager Ashley Lindsay

General Manager Ashley Lindsay

“She has a role as director of corporate and governance and we need her to take care of that,” she said.
Cr Toms said a locum GM would provide welcome change and inject some new ideas which would be good for the council and the community.
Cr Williamson now was not the time to experiment as the council tried to deal with a very challenging period.
“A locum GM couldn’t hit the ground running,” he said. “This council is doing a lot in the community, and we need to maintain the drive for it to continue.”
Cr Williamson was until those calling for a locum GM could put a name to the person they proposed, amendment was a “shambles”.
Mayor Simmons said Ms Black had his total confidence and had shown she was well qualified to step up with the way she handled th role during Mr Lindsay’s period of sick lead.
“She led and progressed a number of major items,” he said. “Settling the water licence agreement with Essential Energy, implementing recruitment of the director of environment and planning is all set out for councillors to see.”
Cr Simmons said the council had record number of projects on its books with funding deadlines, so it was important council used someone familiar with the position.
But he said if the new council was determined to go its own way, it could rescind this decision of council if it wanted to make a change.
Council voted down the amendment 5-4 and then approved the mayoral minute to appoint Ms Black as acting GM by the same margin.

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Flying high – Redmen selected in Corella’s Squad

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Flying high – Redmen selected in Corella’s Squad

 

By Gary Nichols

TWO Grafton Redmen players have bolted into the NSW Country Corella’s team after impressive debuts for Mid North Coast at the NSW Country Championships in Tamworth over the June long weekend.

Natalie Blackadder and Yuri Fuller have been instrumental in Grafton’s run to a tilt at this year’s Mid North Coast Women’s 10s premiership.

Both players had no idea if they did enough to gain selection in the Country squad, however a phone call from the Corellas’ coach on Friday confirmed what they hoped to hear.

“The coach called me about 10am while I was at work. He asked me how I was going and said he was just giving me a call to inform me I had been selected in the Country squad,” a jubilant Blackadder said.

“He also gave me a few tips on what I have to work on to improve my game which was great.”

It wasn’t so smooth sailing for Fuller who had to endure a nervous ten-hour wait for the call she thought would never eventuate.

“I didn’t get an early phone call because I put down the wrong number on the registration sheet,” Fuller laughed.

“They had to go searching for me and I got the phone call about eight-thirty that night.

“During the day I just excepted my fate and believed I missed out.”

Blackadder admitted she was a bundle of nerves before Mid North Coast’s opening game in Tamworth but added as soon as she ran out on the field the nerves quickly vanished.

“I thought I was going to die when we were warming up,” Blackadder said.

“But once I got out there, I cleared my head, made my first tackle and I was all good.

“It was such a different experience playing fifteen-a-side rugby. You have your role, and you have to stick with it as there is less room than ten-a-side.”

For the rangy Redmen back-rower, it was by chance she even tried out for the representative side.

“I only tried out for Mid North Coast because Tamar (McHugh, Redmen captain) and Yuri did it. I thought to myself, why not give it a go and see where it takes me,” she said.

Fuller, a prolific try-scorer, who can slot into most positions in the backline, said her selection had a lot to do with the improvement of the Grafton Redmen Women’s side and the quality of women’s rugby throughout the Mid North Coast.

“Our team has improved dramatically over the past two years and obviously the growth of Women’s Mid North Coast rugby has produced a higher standard with quality players throughout the Zone,” Fuller said.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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GIANTS AFLW return to Canberra for first Community Camp

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

GIANTS AFLW return to Canberra for first Community Camp

 

The GIANTS’ AFLW list is heading to Canberra on 4-5 July to meet the footy community and inspire the next generation of footy superstars, as part of the first-ever, league wide AFLW Community Camp program.

Around two months out from its NAB AFLW Round 1 clash at Manuka Oval on Saturday, 31 August, the GIANTS players will spend some time with their fans at their home away from home.

Headlining the camp is the Canberra Girls Footy Festival which welcomes girls aged 5-14 to get involved in a jam-packed night of fun and footy alongside GIANTS AFLW players.

To be held at EPC Solar Park in Phillip on Thursday, 4 July, the Girls Footy Festival is open to local footballers and NAB AFL Auskick participants, as well as anyone wanting to come and try Australian rules football in a fun and friendly environment. In addition to the GIANTS players, there will be activities and games, large inflatables, giveaways and, of course, a barbecue.

As part of the AFLW Community Camp, the GIANTS will also hold a Coach Your Way session featuring GIANTS coaching staff and its star defender and accredited Level 3 coach, Katherine Smith.

On Friday, 5 July the GIANTS players will connect with hundreds of Canberra school children when they visit to schools around the nation’s capital.

AFL NSW/ACT’s Participation and Programs Manager, Dylan Potter, said of the GIANTS’ 2024 AFLW Community Camp: “This is another great opportunity for footy fans in Canberra to meet elite players face to face.

“Auskick and junior girls will be particularly excited with the Canberra Girls Footy Festival kicking off on Thursday. This will be the first time we’ve brought women and girls from across the ACT to meet and learn from the GIANTS’ AFLW team and I can’t wait to see everyone loving the game together.

“Thank you in advance to the community for their support and the GIANTS AFLW program for visiting Canberra in a year when the ACT is celebrating 100 years of footy.”

Canberra Girls Footy Festival details
Date: Thursday, July 4
Time: 4:30pm-7pm
Location: EPC Solar Park, Phillip
Age: 5-14 years

Coach Your Way program
The Coach Your Way Program is exclusively available for women and girls looking to develop their skills in coaching.
Date: Thursday, July 4
Time: 5:30pm-7pm
Location: EPC Solar Park, Phillip
Register: Scan the QR Code

NAB AFL Auskick Burst in Canberra
Participants inspired by the GIANTS will have an opportunity to join the fun weekly, with NAB AFL Auskick opening in Canberra from 21 July, offering participants half a season of the Auskick experience and the beloved Auskick pack.

We call it Auskick Burst, with participants bursting on the footy scene and having a great time.

Auskick Burst will be offered at a greatly reduced price, which will be revealed before 4 July’s Girls Footy Festival.

NAB AFLW Season 9 coming to Canberra
GIANTS fans will get a chance to see the team in action in Round 1 of the NAB AFLW season and again in Round 3.
Round 1
1:05pm Saturday, 31 August
GIANTS v Western Bulldogs
Round 3
5:05pm Sunday, 15 September
GIANTS v Gold Coast Suns

Tickets for these matches will be available closer to the date.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Seniors Urged to Speak Up About Home Aged Care Services

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Seniors Urged to Speak Up About Home Aged Care Services

 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released its first report specifically for people receiving home aged care services, titled Complaints about Aged Care Home Services – Insights for People Receiving Care. The report highlights several critical issues and offers guidance on how recipients can address their concerns.

Major Issues Identified:

  • Consultation and Communication: The most frequent complaints (15%) relate to poor consultation and communication between service providers and recipients.
  • Fees and Charges: The second most common issue (10%) involves financial concerns, particularly regarding fees and charges.

Despite the high number of people accessing home care services, there are fewer complaints compared to residential aged care. Over the report period (July to December 2023), the commission received 8,021 complaints and inquiries, resolving about 4,800 of them (just over half). The average resolution time was 59 days, with 65% of complaints resolved within 60 days.

Encouraging Feedback and Complaints

The report emphasizes the importance of feedback from the over 1 million older Australians receiving home care services. It aims to boost confidence in the quality and safety of home care by ensuring recipients feel empowered to express their concerns.

Key Messages from the Commission:

  • Choice and Control: Recipients should have choice and control over their care.
  • Raising Concerns: If something isn’t right, recipients are encouraged to speak up.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson and Aged Care Complaints Commissioner Louise Macleod both stress the importance of addressing issues directly with service providers. However, if this is not possible or if issues remain unresolved, the commission is available to assist.

How to Make a Complaint

Complaints can be made directly to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission through the following channels:

Who Can Make a Complaint:

  • Recipients of aged care services
  • Family, friends, representatives, and carers of recipients
  • Aged care staff and volunteers
  • Health and medical professionals

Important Note:

  • Service providers cannot punish anyone for making a complaint.
  • If you’re raising a concern on behalf of someone else, ensure they are aware and involved in the process.

For more detailed information on making a complaint and understanding the complaints process, visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Conclusion

The report underscores the importance of open communication and the need for recipients of home care services to feel confident in raising issues. By addressing concerns directly or through the commission, recipients can help ensure they receive the high-quality care they deserve.

 

For more seniors news, click here.

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