Restructure shapes progressive, leaner council

Date published: 25 May 2017

A new Future Cities Office will be established to drive economic and strategic planning for Townsville’s growth as part of a final council organisational restructure announced today.

The restructure is fundamental to 24 reforms recommended in the independent Nous Report and adopted by the council in September last year to shape a leaner, fit for purpose organisation more in tune with the community.

Council CEO Adele Young released the new restructure to staff this morning following months of review and extensive feedback from the workforce and unions.

“The release of the restructure completes the first comprehensive organisational review of the council from top to bottom since the two former councils amalgamated in 2008,” Ms Young said.

“Council’s new structure better aligns planning, support and delivery roles to break down silos and duplication, cut unsustainable external labour costs and place the focus where it should be on front line services and outcomes for the community.

“A very important part of the process is support for staff through the transition to the new structure which we anticipate will be finalised by July 3.

“There will be no impact on front line workers or services, and we will work with the workforce to make the change as smooth as possible.”

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said restructuring council was delivering on a major election commitment to the community.

““The restructure is about getting the basics right for council’s financial sustainability and easing pressure on rates,” Cr Hill.

“This major structural reform is long overdue and makes sure the council is delivering for the community and pulling its weight in easing cost of living pressures.”

The structure includes the establishment of a Future Cities Office which will deliver a clear strategic direction for council’s activities.

A focus on building a vibrant, modern and prosperous city will see the creation of new roles in emerging key areas such as: Placemaker, City Economist, Digital Cities, Defence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Principals.

The office will support the city to transition to new opportunities, activating and unlocking economic activity and helping build a cohesive resilient community.

All operational aspects of Planning will now also be incorporated in a single integrated section. The removal of internal silos will deliver less red tape, policy consistency, enhanced responsiveness and quicker and better outcomes for the community.

As well as delivering efficiencies across the organisation, the restructure provided further opportunity to refine and reduce the numbers of senior managers.

Overall the number of management positions have been reduced by nearly 40% from 63 at the beginning of the process to 39.

Summary of the new structure:

  • converting 72 maximum term temporary roles to permanent positions providing greater job security for staff
  • 97 new permanent positions
  • 282 redundant positions, of which 144 are occupied.

Redundancies will occur through a reduction in back office and support functions, realigning planning and delivery of services, and removing duplication of roles and accountabilities

  • Not renewing 186 temporary positions. Those employees will either be eligible to participate in the merit based selection process for permanent jobs, or their terms will expire in due course. Staff in redundant positions will be matched with the 259 existing vacancies (includes the new positions) in the organisation, redeployed and retrained.
  • Voluntary redundancies will be offered in identified areas where there are more permanent incumbent staff than available positions.
  • Involuntary redundancies are a last resort.

Documents detailing the proposed organisation have been made available to staff and unions.

All staff impacted by the changes will be provided with support through the council’s Employee Assistance Program.