Recruitment firm engaged to conduct CEO search

By Jeremy Sollars

The Southern Downs Regional Council has engaged national firm Davidson Recruitment to find a new Chief Executive Officer following the departure in April of previous CEO David Keenan.

In a confidential section of the special council meeting held on Friday 29 May councillors reviewed what are understood to be expressions of interest from a variety of recruitment firms and voted to appoint Davidson Recruitment.

The minutes of the meeting state the councillors voted to “delegate responsibility to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to work with the contracted recruitment agency to determine a suitable Total Remuneration Package (TRP) for the Chief Executive Officer role, but to remain within a maximum of 10% of the TRP (total remuneration package) of the former Chief Executive Officer”.

Councillors also agreed to “delegate to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to work with the preferred recruitment agency to proceed with recruitment through to the stage of short listing of candidates, at which time interviews will be held with all Councillors to finalise the appointment of the successful Chief Executive Officer”.

Mr Keenan left his role after his contract was “terminated by mutual agreement” with the council and details of any severance payment have not been made public.

Director of Sustainable Development Jane Stroud was appointed Acting CEO and will continue in the role until such time as a permanent replacement is found. Manager of Environmental Services Craig Magnussen is acting Director of Sustainable Development.

Davidson Recruitment has offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and undertakes high-level recruitment for both the private and public sectors.


The public feedback comment period on the draft Council Budget for 2020-2021 closes tomorrow, Friday 12 June.

The council has proposed a zero rate rise for 2020-2021 and the introduction of half-yearly rates bills.

The full draft budget documents and details on how to make a submission are available on the council website at

Councillors will adopt the finalised budget before the end of June.

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