By Sumeyya Ilanbey
Before applying for the role of Moorabool chief executive, Derek Madden checked the area out.
It was the diversity of the region – the rural towns and the urban suburbs – that sealed the deal for Mr Madden, who last week signed on as Moorabool chief executive following Rob Croxford’s resignation.
When asked about his plans for the first 100 days in the job, Mr Madden said he wanted to talk with the staff and build a team which could deliver great services.
“In addition to that, I want to get an understanding of rural townships and their needs … ensuring they’re not getting left behind,” he said.
Mr Madden likens the challenges facing Moorabool as similar to those faced by Cardinia Shire, in south-west Victoria, a decade ago.
He has been with Cardinia Shire as corporate services general manager for more than eight years.
“During my time at Cardinia, I did see that the growth corridor was taking up a lot of resources, financially and staff time, so just making sure that’s allocated evenly,” he said.
At Cardinia, Mr Madden led a digital transformation of council offices and services which included moving to a new civic centre four years ago, designed to give staff flexible working spaces.
“People want to access services 24/7 and the only way you can do that is through a digital channel,” he said.
“So to me, that would be one of my key drivers over my term [at Moorabool] – to look at the service online and see what else can be made available.”
Tapping into various funding pools will also be a key focus. Mr Madden believes the Moorabool council needs to access money from a range of traditional and unconventional sources.
“One of the key things for me is to look at key performance indicators and really strengthen the relationship with state and federal governments,” he said.
“The ratepayer can only afford so much of the infrastructure going forward, so it really is around building those connections which are quite strong and really enhancing them.”
Mr Madden’s five-year term starts October 29.