Out of exasperation with the slow rate of progress in rural areas we have received this suggestion as to how local government might ‘do it better’. Two key rural dilemmas emerge in a direct response to a job ad for an economic development officer for Queanbeyan City Council, NSW. (See below this post.)
Q. To progress development of a ‘music/band’ industry who would you like to appoint to advise you ? A. Peter Garret.
Q. To encourage your youth to take up tennis, and train to become champions, who would you like to appoint to advise you ? A. Leyton Hewitt.
Q. To encourage local Aboriginal youth to take up athletics, to become champions, who would you like to appoint to advise you? A. Cathy Freeman.
These are all very obvious choices and clearly advertising for a ‘Music Development Officer’, a ‘Sports Development Officer’ or a ‘Youth Development Officer would not attract these experts.
Councils seeking excellence need to state exactly what they want eg:
Advertising for an economic development officer may attract many applicants, but most likely they will be aged under 45, carrying a fistful of degrees, Commerce, Community Development, Economics, and who may never have built a seven figure ‘new business’ operation, nor driven down purchasing costs substantially improving industry profits, nor originated a new Festival that has attracted thousands.
With globalisation, industry takeovers and Australia’s manufacturing moving to China, there are a number of resident, 46 to 70 year old ‘senior, proven, business winners’ that Council advertising and the present HR system is not catching. They would love to pitch their business winning development skills, to compete, to progress rural towns on a short or long term basis.
When Councils advertise the position of Economic Development Officer they don’t ask applicants to state their ideas for boosting local business. This would make it much easier to find the right person and it would refine the list of applicants to those who have a clear idea of how to resolve the Council’s advertised challenge.
Councils, who have had years to think about it, don’t say what are the real economic problems facing their towns eg:
Council advertisements rarely state their known development opportunities eg:
Queanbeyan Job Advertisement
EDA – Economic Development Australia – 17-04-2007 Economic Development Officer – NSW Queanbeyan City Council Salary Range $1034.90 to $1246.95 pw (plus super) Council has created an excellent opportunity for a motivated, enthusiastic and innovative person to promote economic growth and promotion in the local area. Applicants should have degree qualifications in Business, Economics, Marketing or a related discipline as well as a minimum of 5 years experience in small/medium business management and small/medium business economic development/enterprise facilitation. Persons without degree qualifications, with extensive business planning experience and a track record of implementing successful business initiatives will also be considered. Applicants must have good skills in communication, market analysis, public relations and business development including funding opportunities and budget management. This position will be subject to a 19 day, 4 week month based on a 35 hour week. Salary progression will be based on meeting skills and competencies set in accordance with Council’s salary system and NAPSA (Notional Agreement Preserving the Local Government (State) Award) conditions apply. Contact: Intending applicants must obtain an information package from the Human Resources section located at 263 Crawford Street or alternatively by contacting the 24 hour answering service on 6298 4504 or by Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The information package may also be obtained from Council’s website at www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/positionsvacant. Further information can be obtained from David Carswell on (02) 6298 0276. Applications close 5pm Monday 26th March 2007. Gary Chapman General Manager Queanbeyan City Council is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from Multicultural and Aboriginal people. Council employees enjoy free parking and a dynamic, safe and healthy working environment.