Shock early departure of Council CEO

After just 14 months in the job, Noosa Council Chief Executive Scott Waters has resigned to become the CEO at Moreton Bay Regional Council – Australia’s third largest council.

The news has reverberated around a stunned Council headquarters in Tewantin.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart – who was a central player in the appointment and known to be close to the CEO – said it’s extremely disappointing to lose such a capable leader and admitted to being “teary about it” since she’s known.

“Scott has been an agent of change for our organisation and I truly appreciate what he’s been able to implement during his 14 month tenure.

“It’s certainly a huge loss for our council but I understand that Scott has to make the right decisions for his family and career and this is a natural progression for a CEO of his calibre,” she said.

“The fact Scott was successful in a nationwide recruitment campaign for such a large council is testament to our recruitment process and clearly shows we had the right person in place,” Cr Stewart said.

Despite the unexpected early departure, the CEO was careful not to burn his bridges even further: “The opportunity to work with Mayor Clare Stewart was largely the reason for moving to Noosa, as well as being closer to family in Queensland.

“Her progressive view for the shire and her strong focus on social justice and fairness has made the role incredibly rewarding,” Mr Waters said.

“I am proud of what we’ve achieved, the first phase of Noosa 2.0 is in place, we have a new corporate plan, our structure realignment is being finalised, a refreshed council brand about to roll out and a leadership program based on renewed organisational values is underway,” he said.

“I am genuinely excited at what we are building here in Noosa, but the opportunity to take on such a challenging and significant role for me personally and professionally is the next step in my career and I’m looking forward to commencing with the team at Moreton Bay Regional Council.”

Mr Waters’ last day at Noosa Council will be Friday 12 May.

New acting CEO Larry Sengstock with Mayor Stewart

By week’s end the lengthy process of finding a permanent replacement was put in hold. Council Infrastructure Director and former basketball great Larry Sengstock was quickly plugged into the role of acting-CEO until after the Council elections next year.

Here’s an audio grab of the Mayor and CEO talking about the departure.


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