GM STUCK IN LIMBO

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - Front Page -

A suit­able bor­der cross­ing so­lu­tion for Ed­ward River Coun­cil’s new gen­eral man­ager is yet to be found.

For now, Phil Stone will lead the coun­cil from his home in Gipp­s­land un­til he can cross in to NSW and De­niliquin.

The for­mer Snowy Val­leys Coun­cil di­rec­tor orig­i­nally had a per­mit to cross from Vic­to­ria, but said it was can­celled when bor­der re­stric­tions tight­ened re­cently.

He was hop­ing to ar­rive in De­niliquin last Sun­day, be­fore start­ing his new role on Mon­day.

Mayor Norm Bren­nan said coun­cil has been speak­ing to the par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary, health depart­ment and premier’s depart­ment to see if they can re­lo­cate Mr Stone, but are still un­sure of when he might be able to make the move.

‘‘We have not been able to get a per­mit for Phil to travel into New South Wales, so he is work­ing from his home in Gipp­s­land un­til we are able to sort this out,’’ Cr Bren­nan said.

‘‘We ini­tially thought we could get Phil to fly to Sydney and quar­an­tine for 14 days, but there has been a hic­cup in this process.

‘‘We are still ex­plor­ing all op­tions and av­enues of get­ting him to De­niliquin.

‘‘In the mean­time, Phil has been very ac­tive on Zoom for team meet­ings, as well as meet­ing as many other peo­ple. How­ever it is never as good as hav­ing face-to-face in­ter­ac­tions.

‘‘We are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing him in Deni and be­lieve he will be a great as­set to the team and com­mu­nity.’’

Mr Stone said while his in­tro­duc­tion to Ed­ward River Coun­cil has been a pos­i­tive one, he would pre­fer to be on the ground in De­niliquin.

‘‘Ed­ward River Coun­cil is a very col­lab­o­ra­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion with a pos­i­tive de­meanour with all staff,’’ he said.

‘‘I am com­ing into the po­si­tion with a brief from coun­cil about open­ing up busi­nesses post COVID-19.

‘‘It is es­sen­tially about open­ing our com­mu­nity back up again and fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­vest­ments with a sense of open for busi­ness to achieve this.’’

Mr Stone was one of 38 can­di­dates for Ed­ward River’s top job, with ap­pli­cants based in Vic­to­ria, South Aus­tralia, West­ern Aus­tralia, New South Wales, Queens­land, and New Zealand.

He is a per­ma­nent re­place­ment for Adam McSwain, who left coun­cil in early April for fam­ily rea­sons.

Re­tired gen­eral man­ager John Rayner had been fill­ing in as in­terim gen­eral man­ager dur­ing the re­cruit­ment process, and farewelled the coun­cil last Fri­day.

■ Phil Stone in his home of­fice in Gipp­s­land, on his first day with Ed­ward River Coun­cil.

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