Big job: The City of Ballarat’s new CEO Evan King on the Town Hall steps. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Meet the man set to lead the City of Ballarat

January 14, 2021 BY

FOLLOWING a four-month search, City of Ballarat council has appointed a new chief executive officer.

The move was approved unanimously by eight of the nine councilors in attendance at a special meeting last week, with the conformation current Hepburn Shire CEO Evan King will be the City of Ballarat’s new head.

Mr King said he’s excited to take on the top role.

“I feel like I’ve been working towards this job for all of my career,” he said. “We need to develop a new council plan to really set what this council wants to achieve over the next four years.

“That will be my first task is working with council and helping to guide them to develop a council plan that delivers the services and infrastructure that this community needs.”

Outside of the council plan, and steering clear of any specifics, Mr King said he will utilise his collaborative skills to complete new and tabled initiatives for the benefit of Ballarat and the region.

“There’s projects we are lobbying for at the moment like the extension of Ring Road and we obviously have a waste crisis and need to lobby for funding to make sure we become a sustainable city,” he said.

“The region needs a high functioning city and the city needs a healthy region.

“I’m really passionate about continuing my work with all of our neighbouring shires to make sure that we work together.”

Having held the CEO role at the Hepburn Shire for two-and-a-half years prior to his new appointment, Mr King has also been the

The City of Ballarat’s new CEO Evan King with his wife Jacqui and daughters Ella, Georgia and Maddison. Photo: RUBY STALEY

director of corporate and community services at Pyrenees Shire, business manager at The Salvation Army and finance manager at Mars Wrigley.

Now that the new CEO has been appointed, the upcoming Organisational Governance and Culture Review – better known as the Halliday Report because it’s been conducted by Susan Halliday AM – will be one of the first things on Mr King’s agenda.

While he said he’d yet to be briefed on the report that looks into issues around systems and culture within the City of Ballarat, he said would address any issues with his strongly held morals.

“I want a healthy, respectful organisation and I will lead by example,” he said.

“I think there is massive potential for Ballarat and I want to be a part of that and work with this councilor group to deliver that.

“I’m really excited about working with them and bringing my style and my governance, I’m committed to transparency and I’m committed to bringing value for money to the community.”

Mr King’s appointment to the CEO role comes after a tumultuous nine months for senior management withing the City of Ballarat.

A critical State Ombudsman report released in May last year led to the sacking of then CEO Justine Linley and the subsequent departure of all other members of the municipality’s executive leadership team.

Then in June council moved to appoint Janet Dore as the interim CEO until a permeant replacement could be found.

Last September recruitment company McArthur was selected to assist the search for Ms Dore’s replacement and advertising began in November.

Once the shortlist was finalised, interviews, reference, and pre-employment medical and a national security checks were completed by Christmas Eve.

After the months of searching, shortlisting and interviews, City of Ballarat major Cr Daniel Moloney said it was a relief to have appointed the right man for the job.

“We have ended quite a long journey and appointed our CEO, Evan King, who is going to join the City of Ballarat team from 15 February,” Cr Moloney said.

“One of the most important relationships that you can have as a councilor, and as mayor is with the CEO.

“We need someone that not only keeps us in line and mentors us, but also provides that strategic guidance as well.”

Looking forward into the new year and beyond, Cr Moloney said the municipality is entering 2021 with a new CEO, a new councilor group and a new attitude.

“We’re really excited about the prospects for this year,” he said. “In terms of the CEO contract, it’s locked in for three plus the option of an additional two-years, but hopefully these things go on for years longer than that as well.

“We’re confident that Evan will steady the ship… and we’re going to see the delivery of some major projects and see Ballarat get back on its feet post-pandemic.”