Greg Chemello with Sean Madigan (foreground)
Greg Chemello with Sean Madigan (foreground) Cordell Richardson

EXCLUSIVE: Ipswich boss explains why council CEO had to go

THE embattled Ipswich council, plagued by controversy, criminal charges and a near wipeout of leaders has lost another top executive - only this time the State Government appointed administrator has been able to explain why.

There was "no particular issue" with outgoing council CEO Sean Madigan, but administrator Greg Chemello says the city will be better placed with a new, experienced boss.  

After only three months as executive officer, Sean Madigan was demoted and will return to his old job as chief of the council's Health, Security and Regulatory Services Department.  

Speaking exclusively to the QT, Mr Chemello said his decision was made "in the best interests of the community and the council and Sean".  

"The key is, from my perspective is, everything I'm doing is in, what I believed to be, the long-term interests of the community," he said.   

"I have the greatest respect for Sean, he's staying on in council - I didn't want to lose him - I want to make that clear."   

Mr Chemello said there was "no specific issue I could refer to" on why Mr Madigan was demoted.   

"It's really that the council and the community would benefit by having a CEO with substantial experience in being a CEO of an organisation, particularly a large council," he said.  

"Being the CEO of a council is tough and being the CEO of a council in administration is extra tough.

"It's probably one of the tougher CEO jobs around at the moment."  

Mr Chemello said he and Mr Madigan agreed the organisation "would be better placed with a more experienced CEO, particularly in the next few years".   

"It's not really the performance issue, it's really that the organisation now needs for the next few years an experienced CEO - I think we could benefit from that," he said.  

Mr Chemello said Mr Madgan's recent comment, when he said councillors should not have been dismissed, played no part in his standing aside.   

Mr Madigan was appointed chief executive officer in May after a drawn-out, national recruitment process under Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.  

The appointment drew the interest of the Crime and Corruption Commission, which provided advice about Mr Madigan.

When questioned about the CCC's involvement in the demotion of Mr Madigan, Mr Chemello said; "I can't comment about CCC matters".