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Joint Audit Panel Announced

24 August 2015

Circular Head, King Island and Waratah-Wynyard Councils have established a joint Audit Panel following changes to the Local Government Act last year.

The Panel is made up of independent members Chairman Paul Arnold, Lisa Dixon, John Howard and Paul McCormick.

Circular Head Councillor Ashley Popowski will also be joining the panel when it considers Circular Head matters.

King Island General Manager David Laugher said all three Councils were extremely pleased with the quality of representatives.

“The Audit Panel includes people with extensive experience in Local Government, financial management, strategic asset management, risk management, occupational health and safety and human resources management,” Mr Laugher said.

“This knowledge will ensure that we have the best resources available to undertake the role of the Audit Panel across the three Councils, while also strengthening resource sharing arrangements, reducing costs and duplication and enabling the Councils to continue benefiting and learning from each other.”

Mr Arnold has been appointed Chair of the Audit Panel and brings a vast amount of experience as General Manager of Burnie City and previously of Circular Head Councils. In recent years, Mr Arnold has continued to serve the community and government as either the chair or member of a number of Boards and as a management consultant.

Ms Dixon is a CPA qualified accountant who has previously worked in local government at Waratah-Wynyard Council in a financial management role, currently sits on the Burnie City Council Audit Panel and runs a family business and small accounting practice.

Mr Howard is nationally and internationally recognised as an expert in contemporary strategic asset management.  Mr Howard has extensive executive management experience in large local government organisations across three states and currently sits on the Joint Audit Panel for Central Coast and Devonport City Councils.

Mr McCormick has had extensive executive management experience in a significant national labour hire and recruitment firm.  In addition to his private sector experience Paul brings specialist skills in risk management, occupational health and safety and human resources management.

The appointments are for a two year period.

Circular Head General Manager Tony Smart said given the high level and strategic nature of the Audit Panel’s role, the makeup of the panel would be an excellent asset to the three Councils.

“The Audit Panels’ experience will ensure that their oversight into the three Councils’ Strategic Plans, Long Term Financial Plans, Strategic Asset Management Plans and Annual Financial Statements will be thorough, independent and help to offer reassurance to our communities,” Mr Smart said.

Waratah-Wynyard General Manager Michael Stretton said the panel offered the three Councils a good introduction to the regional partnership currently taking shape.

“The joint Audit Panel is an effective precursor to the work we will be undertaking with the three Councils and West Coast Council as part of the Sustainable Murchison 2040 Community Plan,” Mr Stretton said.

“This will mean that Circular Head, King Island and Waratah-Wynyard will already be working on the kinds of regional governance activities that will be required to see the Murchison area grow into the future.”

Audit Panel members will be bound by an Audit Charter, staff Code of Conduct and Council Policies as determined by the Councils at that time.  Panel members are also required to comply with all legislative obligations that apply to Local Government.