CEO celebrated Hat Day with Rotary
Rotary Alexandra’s guest speaker this week was Murrindindi Shire CEO Livia Bonazzi.
Over a career spanning 20 years of executive experience, Livia has worked in senior roles in public and private enterprises in planning, governance and strategy roles. She as an architect actually completed her BA concurrently with Architecture, MBA and Australian Industry Group Directors course, so is well qualified for her current position.
From a start in architecture and urban planning, her career has moved through to management and operational logistics, with a common thread of working with community and environment.
When approached by a recruiter to apply for the CEO position, Livia already had friends in Marysville, Flowerdale and Yea, but hadn’t been to Alexandra.
Arriving in June 2021, the first challenge was to find accommodation in a historically tight housing market.
Several important initiatives were about to be implemented.
A. August brought the Community Vision for our Shire, with focus on inclusivity,
embracing diversity,
recognising the cultural heritage of our First Nations people,
waste management,
maintaining biodiversity, and
Supporting growth and educational opportunities.
B. The five pillars supporting the vision are
1 Resilient communities
2 Beautiful townships
3 Growth and opportunity
4 Protection of the environment, with a focus on sustainability and target net zero emissions by 2035 Shirewide.
5 Transparency, inclusivity and accountability.
C. 10 year financial plan. Livia has inherited a strong operational budget of $36-45 Million over the next 10 years, but the capital works program is constrained as Council is heavily dependent on grants, with little money for new assets. We have a lot of decaying infrastructure, roads, buildings and parks. Murrindindi has 12 times more kilometres of road per head of population to maintain compared to state average(Check please).
The majority of spending is on traditional areas of roads and rubbish.
For a comparison of how Murrindindi is tracking Livia encouraged us visit the ‘Know Your Council’ website-( currently mid range on many scores).
Challenges facing Murrindindi-
I. Employment. Despite a steady population growth of 1% per annum, over 600 jobs ave been lost over the last 6 years. Some of this can be attributed to completion of rebuilding after 2009 fires and N/S pipeline construction.
  1. Property prices are going through the roof, having tripled in 10 years. This affects housing affordability throughout the Shire.
  2. Weather- fire, flood, drought etc.
However the Shire has previously demonstrated great strength and resilience in the face of adversity. Livia would like to introduce a ‘Happiness Index’ as a potential new metric to measure effectiveness of the management of our Shire.
In conclusion Livia feels blessed to now call Murrindindi home, thanks all for the warm welcome received, and looks forward to living here long enough to be regarded as a ‘local’.
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