PASTURE: Former Ipswich City Council chief operating officer Bryce Hines (left) with CEO David Farmer earlier this year.
PASTURE: Former Ipswich City Council chief operating officer Bryce Hines (left) with CEO David Farmer earlier this year. Lydia Hart

Several powerful, high-profile executives leave council

TWO Ipswich City Council executives considered among the most powerful before councillors were dismissed have resigned.

The council's former chief operating officer of Works, Parks and Recreation, Bryce Hines, left the council last week while former Arts, Social Development and Community Engagement chief officer Caroline McMahon left in May.

A third executive, town planner John Adams, also retired last week.

Mr Hines and Ms McMahon missed out on retaining a high-level management position when the council's organisational structure was cut from seven departments to five in May.

It is unclear whether either applied for any departmental head role.

As head of the branch responsible for managing council assets and planning open spaces, Mr Hines toiled through a difficult department.

He copped internal backlash from councillors during last year's short-lived decision to cease citywide recycling.

Mr Hines was questioned by councillors over why the council's recycling contract discussions had been prolonged, with then mayor Andrew Antoniolli declaring there was no option but to halt kerbside recycling services.

Ms McMahon, the department head since August 2016, faced difficulty strategically planning for the future needs of the city's libraries.

Ms McMahon worked as councillors debated what libraries should remain open, closed and how many books should be provided.

A spokesman for Ipswich City Council said the entity was changing from within.

"Ipswich City Council is undergoing a significant program of reform and refocus leading up to the March 2020 return to elected representation," he said.

"Organisational transformations such as these are often accompanied by senior management changes, for a wide variety of reasons.

"It is council's policy not to comment on employment matters of individual staff.

The spokesman said seven executive roles were reduced to five as a result of the restructure.

"As a result of change, some employees have left the organisation," he said.

"Council has met its legal and contractual obligations in regard to these matters."

The spokesman confirmed Mr Adams has "embarked on pre-retirement leave following a distinguished 38-year career at council".

His role will soon be advertised.