New CEO enjoys return to country life

NEW IN TOWN: Franklin Harbour District Council chief executive officer Shane Gill is settling into his new role.
NEW IN TOWN: Franklin Harbour District Council chief executive officer Shane Gill is settling into his new role.

The Franklin Harbour District Council have welcomed a new chief executive officer over the past few weeks, with Shane Gill moving to Cowell to take on the role.

Originally from Curramulka on the southern Yorke Peninsula, Mr Gill has spent his career as a "corporate fixer" with a background in accounting and human resources.

His career has involved plenty of travel including working in Jakarta for international oil and gas company Haliburton and assisting with the corporatisation of Snowy Hydro in New South Wales.

Eventually returning to South Australia, Mr Gill then set up his own business while working as a management consultant.

After recently taking a year off, Mr Gill said he decided he wanted to return to country life and channel his skills towards local government.

"You can make a real difference in local government, particularly in regional areas," he said.

Mr Gill said coming from a career of busy, complex jobs it was great to see significant projects already underway in the Franklin Harbour district, most notably the foreshore project and the Coolanie water scheme.

He said the foreshore project would "make an enormous difference" to the region, and the water scheme would have a great impact by connecting more of the district's farmers to mains water.

Coming from the corporate world, Mr Gill said he was already enjoying the community aspect of the new role.

"So many people have walked in off the street to meet me," he said.

"You get a really good feel for the people and the community... it's exactly how it should be."

He said he was impressed with the work the council had been doing to support the community through the drought, and praised the work of locally-based Red Cross community support officer Jasmin Piggott in providing information and social events for the farming community.

"I've seen the isolation country guys fall into... this is a really good thing that's going on here," he said.

Mr Gill said the recent announcement of an additional $1 million in federal funding for the district in 2020 had been well received and there would be plenty of projects to allocate the funds towards.

He said as a newcomer to the district it was important to spend the time to listen and "get a feel for what the community wants" in the coming months to inform future projects including the strategic plan due next year.