Chief relief as Niemann reappointed

Sharon Kemp | Bendigo Weekly | 08-Dec-2017

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City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann.
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CRAIG Niemann will sign another five-year contract as chief executive of the City of Greater Bendigo after beating out 50 other candidates who also wanted the job.


After mayor Margaret O’Rourke announced his provisional appointment, he said he still has a fresh perspective and energy to give after ten years in the job.


Following a competitive recruitment period during which all nine councillors interviewed shortlisted candidates, Cr O’Rourke this week declared the “very long, rigorous process” complete.


Subject to a formal vote at next Wednesday’s council meeting, it gives the incumbent the green light to continue doing the job as he has.


Councillors wanted to test the market and advertised the position but the process has not come without costs – $50,000 over four months, during which Mr Niemann said he had been “treading water a little bit”.


“Now we just jump in and make sure they are delivered for our community,” he said, referring to the projects that will be completed next year and those requiring funding commitments including new law courts and a gov hub,” he said.


 “I can still add a fair bit of value to the organisation and what we deliver on behalf of the community.


“We have got some great things on the horizon, I can really drive those now.


“I can still deliver a fresh look at things, there are changes all the time, we have been through a restructure of the organisation which has led to new managers and new directors”.


He conceded the process had caused uncertainty amongst council employees.


Cr O’Rourke said it was necessary.


“Councillors were very strong about wanting to test the market and when someone has been in a job for 10 years, it is about making sure we have got the right person and the best person,” she said.


Councillors made the decision to rehire Mr Niemann, therefore a decision at next Wednesday’s meeting should be a foregone conclusion.


However, the result of the vote will give residents an idea about whether the hiring decision was unanimous or otherwise.


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