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Council bosses feel talent gap at the top as they emerge from pandemic

Chief executives of Australia’s local councils are most worried about cyber security and the well-being of their communities emerging from the pandemic, according to the results of a large survey of their attitudes.

Aug 23, 2022, updated Aug 23, 2022

The survey found that many local government leaders have had to juggle the impacts of the pandemic with the job of ensuring their communities overcame the devastation of natural disasters.

Conducted by recruitment firm Davidson, the survey of 111 council chief executives – including 22 in Queensland – found their priorities were digital transformation, community wellbeing, cost and risk management sand increased cyber attacks.

The move toward sharing services with other local councils seems entrenched, with more than 85 percent of those surveyed saying they were committed to pursuing shared services.

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However, like the private sector, council chief executives expressed concern about leadership talent gaps in their ranks coming out of the pandemic.

Davidson’s search and advisory managing partner Clare McCartin said the findings showed the hangover effects of the pandemic are going to be felt for some time in the local government sector

“The sense I got from reading the results and comments is that local government is on the precipice of significant change, the rate of which is unprecedented,” she said.

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