Ex-AFL player new council chief

A FORMER AFL footballer has been announced as the new general manager of the George Town Council.

Andrew Macnish, a former Eagles and Geelong player, will begin at the council on September 1.

Mr Macnish holds five tertiary qualifications relating to local government and has managed up to 300 employees in his role as chief executive of the Busselton and Bridgetown shires in Western Australia.

He was selected from a pool of 35 applicants.

"Andrew intends to run a transparent local government organisation that people enjoy working in and interacting with," a statement from the council said.

"He is looking forward to the forthcoming local elections and puts great emphasis on building capacity through structured engagement, clearly articulated decision making and providing knowledge pathways and professional development."

The role of general manager at the George Town Council has been contentious since Stephen Brown was stood down late last year.

Mr Brown quit earlier this year following months of investigation into workplace allegations. The investigation was dropped upon his resignation.

Acting general manager Dino De Paoli attended his final meeting with the council yesterday and will move to the Meander Valley Council later this month.

George Town Residents and Ratepayers Association president John Austin said "a lot of baggage" hung over Mr Macnish's position.

He called for an inquiry into the events which necessitated the appointment of a new general manager.

"The consequences of what has happened over recent times has damaged reputations, resulted in lost cultural and heritage values and significant financial losses to the struggling municipality," he said.

Mayor Roger Broomhall welcomed Mr Macnish's appointment and said he looked forward to a "new and strong approach".

"Now it's time to get re-energised and plan for the future," he said.

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