New coun­cil man­ager has come all the way from WA

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By WENDY HUNT

MANS­FIELD Shire Coun­cil has a new man­ager who is keen to bring his ex­pe­ri­ence to the de­vel­op­ment and ser­vices depart­ment.

A Queens­lan­der by birth, Ben McKay has been work­ing in lo­cal and state gov­ern­ment in Western Aus­tralia for the past 15 years and brings a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to his new job.

He also spent time in Ger­ald­ton dis­trict work­ing on main roads, on sec­ond­ment through a global en­gi­neer­ing com­pany.

Ben and his fam­ily ar­rived in Mans­field only seven weeks ago, but the fam­ily has al­ready set­tled in, with two of his three daugh­ters set­tling in to school and kin­der here.

The fam­ily en­joyed their time in Western Aus­tralia, but its re­mote­ness prompted the move to the east.

“I wanted a job to make a dif­fer­ence,” Mr McKay said.

“Mans­field ticked all the boxes.”

His job de­scrip­tion is a broad one, en­com­pass­ing town plan­ning, build­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal health, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, lo­cal laws and the en­vi­ron­ment. Mr McKay also comes with ex­pe­ri­ence of the is­sues that small towns have with de­vel­op­ment.

“Prac­ti­cally all coun­cils have some sort of con­tention about de­vel­op­ment, dif­fer­ing from town to town,” he said.

“It is our job to look at a town strate­gi­cally and to have an over­ar­ch­ing vi­sion for its de­vel­op­ment.”

Mr McKay be­lieves in open dis­cus­sion with the com­mu­nity around pro­jected growth and town plan­ning.

“I am push­ing to open com­mu­ni­ca­tions up from a de­vel­op­ment per­spec­tive,” he said.

“The ear­lier I see an ap­pli­ca­tion the eas­ier it is to guide a ben­e­fi­cial out­come for the com­mu­nity.

“De­vel­op­ment is a bal­anc­ing act, be­cause de­vel­op­ment pro­vides em­ploy­ment as well as hous­ing and in­creased pop­u­la­tion means a healthy town.”

Mr McKay and his fam­ily are find­ing life in Mans­field has lived up to their ex­pec­ta­tions and he looks for­ward to a long and happy as­so­ci­a­tion with the town.

I wanted a job to make a dif fer­ence... Mans­field ticked all the boxes.

- BEN McKAY

PHOTO: Wendy Hunt

A FRESH AP­PROACH: Ben McKay brings a fresh look to the de­vel­op­ment and ser­vices depart­ment at coun­cil and looks for­ward to the chal­lenges ahead.

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