New Shire chief keen to work with council

Alicia PereraPilbara News

The Shire of Ashburton’s new chief executive has arrived in Tom Price and has hit the ground running in the first month of his role.

Rob Paull began in the position in early January and has had a busy few weeks meeting Shire staff, commercial and mining industry representatives, and community members.

Mr Paull said his initial focus as chief executive would be on reviewing Shire expenditure, operational procedures and governance policies, beginning with a financial and governance health review planned to go to tender in coming weeks.

In the long term, he said he would be looking into more economic diversification within the Shire, especially around tourism, but his direction would otherwise be guided by the council.

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“My goal is to ensure we are operating effectively, efficiently and transparently and to provide council with the necessary information to make decisions,” he said.

“Over the coming months, I look forward to meeting residents, and the wider community, in each of our towns, so they can inform me of their needs and we can work together for the betterment of our Shire.”

Mr Paull has joined the Shire after two years as chief executive at the Shire of Corrigin, but previously worked as a town- planning consultant in the private and public sectors, including for six years in Ashburton.

As its new chief executive, Mr Paull said the Ashburton Shire was distinct from most other WA local government areas in ways that presented a lot of opportunities for development.

“In terms of working within the Shire itself, you can’t just say we’ll run it like a metropolitan council or a small Wheatbelt council because the circumstances are so different,” he said.

“I can’t think of too many local government areas that are similar to this Shire in terms of their size, income, employment base and just the closeness of the community to the council and staff.”

Shire president Kerry White said the council was pleased to welcome Mr Paull to the area and they were confident his local government experience would be an asset to the Shire.

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