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Gawler Council CEO Contact Extension Raises Concerns

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Shadow Ministry


  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Nov 28, 2019


A Gawler Council proposal to extend the contract for its CEO two years before it is due to expire raises alarm bells, according to Member for Light Tony Piccolo.

Mr Piccolo, who is also the Shadow Minister for Local Government, says the proposal to extend Henry Inat’s contract raises questions in light of legislative reforms recently flagged in both the State Parliament and in a State Government discussion paper.

Last year, SA Labor introduced the Ratepayer Protection Bill to crackdown on excessive council chief executive remuneration packages and perks.

In August this year, the State Government also placed the clampdown of CEO salaries and independent performance reviews on the legislative agenda.

Under the proposed reforms, outlined in the State Government discussion paper:

1. Responsibility for determining CEO remuneration would be given to the Remuneration Tribunal of South Australia.

2. Councils would be required to complete independent annual CEO performance reviews. An independent performance review would be required before the extension of a CEO contract.


Mr Piccolo believes the timing of Gawler Council’s CEO contract extension process could pre-empt any legislative reforms which might pass State Parliament in the new year.

The State Government discussion paper acknowledges that “council CEOs have a disproportionate advantage in negotiating their own contractual conditions and that there is insufficient oversight of their performance.”

Mr Piccolo says if legislative reforms regarding council CEO performance, remuneration and contracts are passed by the State Parliament in the new year, it may be necessary to backdate their implementation to the date of the release of the discussion paper to avoid Councils circumventing the reforms.

Speaking as Member for Light Mr Piccolo said: “From the feedback I have received from the community I believe it would be extremely unwise for the council to proceed with the extension of the contract at this time.”

“While the terms and conditions of the CEO’s contract are a matter for the Council to decide, they should have regard to community priorities and expectations.

“It would be very sad and unproductive if Gawler Council continuously made the headlines for the wrong reasons like the City of Onkaparinga.

“Given the CEO has just completed his first year of a three-year contact there appears to be no imperative for it to be extended at this time.

“In short it’s not a good look, and certainly doesn’t pass the pub test.”



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