Council advisor on $350 an hour set to go
THE state government appointed advisor to Ipswich City Council, who has been paid more over the past year than the city’s new mayor or councillors, has finished up in his lucrative role.
There were murmurs from within the administration that the state would extend Steve Greenwood’s 12-month contract following the departure of experienced CEO David Farmer.
Mr Farmer left his post on Friday to become the new CEO of Central Coast Council in New South Wales.
Mr Greenwood, who will finish up in his highly-paid position on Monday, took over from Greg Chemello as Interim Administrator after being a member of the interim management committee.
He was appointed as an advisor to the council in March last year to “ensure a smooth and seamless transition” to the city’s first elected council in more than 18 months.
Ipswich’s new elected representatives have been in office a year as of this coming Wednesday.
The QT revealed in February that Mr Greenwood had been paid $138,600 between April and November with another four months to run on his contract.
It is understood Mr Greenwood was paid $350 an hour in his role.
That bill is being picked up by Ipswich ratepayers.
The terms of Mr Greenwood’s contract are set by the state government but under the Local Government Act, the council is required to reimburse the government for the cost of the role.
“Council is paying invoices rendered by the responsible state government department for the advisory service to the responsible minister in relation to council,” an Ipswich City Council spokesman said in February.
“Council does not manage the direct costs of the advisor; these are state-initiated costs which council is compelled to pay.”
Ipswich councillors are paid a base salary of $122,400 as well as superannuation and a car allowance.
Mayor Teresa Harding is paid $204,000 a year on top of superannuation and a car allowance.
Cr Harding said the state government wrote to the council this week to advise that Mr Greenwood would finish up in his role on Monday.
“This a tremendous sign of faith from the state government that the city of Ipswich is back on track and doing an excellent job,” she said.
“Steve Greenwood, and before him Greg Chemello and the interim management committee, set the bar high and I sincerely believe we have achieved many of those targets and will continue to perform over the remaining three years of our term.
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“I am proud of where we have come from in this first year and look forward to being able to report back to government that we achieved everything we set out to do.”
She thanked Mr Greenwood for his work over the past 12 months.
“Steve Greenwood has completed his one-year term and I want to thank him on behalf of Ipswich City Council, councillors and the community for the thoroughly professional job he has done,” Mayor Harding said.
“We came into this job after the March 2020 local government election and Steve was able to provide valuable advice and guidance as we quickly got to grips with the demanding role of restoring confidence and trust in council.
“He regularly attended council and committee meetings and was there to oversee the transition from interim administration back to elected representatives doing the job for and on behalf of the Ipswich community
“It was seamless and smooth and we can’t thank Steve enough for his oversight.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.