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New Shire of Northampton CEO Andrew Campbell excited to tackle challenge of rebuilding after TC Seroja

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Fraser WilliamsMidwest Times
Manjimup Shire's chief executive Andrew Campbell has been recognised for 25 years working at the Shire of Manjimup.
Camera IconManjimup Shire's chief executive Andrew Campbell has been recognised for 25 years working at the Shire of Manjimup. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times/Tari Jeffers

Rebuilding the Northampton community after the devastation wrought by tropical cyclone Seroja is top of the agenda for the Shire of Northampton’s new chief executive.

Set to make the move to Northampton in May from his current position as CEO of the Shire of Manjimup, Andrew Campbell this week told the Midwest Times he was excited to get started in his new role.

He has big shoes to fill, taking on the position after last year’s retirement of former CEO Garry Keeffe, who held the position for more than 25 years.

Mr Campbell said he hoped his experience navigating Manjimup through the after-effects of bushfire disasters will inform how he helps Northampton continue to rebuild following cyclone Seroja in 2021, adding that it was important to build strong relationships to help the community.

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“Receiving funding for disaster relief is actually quite complicated,” he said.

“It’s about trying to get those people to a point where you are both on the same page so the requirements can be met easily and then they’re more conjusive to giving you the funding to do more projects, such as carparks, which seem to be held up in Kalbarri.”

Holding a masters of business administration, Mr Campbell has a passion for economic development, which he said helped him play his part in what he calls, “the best experience” of his tenure as Shire of Manjimup CEO — the $32 million revitalisation of the town’s centre.

He said the project resulted in millions of dollars in private investment.

“We set aside developing a business plan that really shows that Manjimup could be transformed to not only a better place to live for people that live there or want to live there, but also to create a place that was good to visit,” Mr Campbell said.

“What that then does is create opportunities for economic development . . . creating over a hundred jobs within the community.”

As for his future role, Mr Campbell will bring fresh eyes and a new perspective to the executive position after having been filled by one person for so long with one of his core focuses to be on governance.

“The money that local government receives is actually public money, so the public entrusts local government to spend that money in accordance with the rules,” he said.

“To have the necessary rules in place means to have good governance.”

And while he’ll be moving up to the Mid West for work, more personally, after living a long time in WA’s South West, Mr Campbell said he and his wife were looking forward to the change.

Mr Campbell’s first day at the Shire will be on May 22. In the intervening period, the position of acting CEO is held by former Shire of Chapman Valley CEO Maurice Battilana.

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