We are at a pretty critical juncture for the city of Wollongong and the Illawarra as a region.
A lot of things are happening and will need to happen all at the same time. There’s two major elections happening in the first half of this year. Love them or hate them, they are important. The people elected to govern at both state and federal level we will need to help shape this important region of the country.
As a city and a region we are growing. We have plenty to be excited about from an economic point of view. Not only that an event like the 2022 World Road Cycling Championships, which is on the radar, will bring the city and the region into great focus on the world map.
It also comes at a time when we are looking to find the person to guide the Wollongong City Council into the future.
Wollongong City Council general manager David Farmer has resigned from what is one of the most important and highest paid positions in the city.
Greg Doyle has been appointed the interim general manager and a committee has been formed to help find who will take over the reigns of the council into the future.
It can be argued David Farmer was the right man for the right time for the Wollongong City Council. He came into the council after a time of great turmoil and had to ensure the ship was put right. Mr Farmer is the perfect man to do the exact same job for the Ipswich council which finds itself in a similar position.
Yet it could also be argued that in more recent times, the council has become bogged down in process and bureaucracy. When a council candidate asked this editor last year on my thoughts on what council could do better to help the region my reply was “get out of the damn way”.
What the city needs now in a GM is someone who is actively seen and is part of the community, willing to engage and be a proactive part of exploring the opportunities now available to our incredible region. A facilitator and a communicator.
Of course, the lessons of the past are important and council must always remember where it has come from. But it is now time to look out the windscreen and only glance back in the rear vision mirror. It’s time for the city to move on. Onwards and upwards.