Greater Bendigo City Council has re-appointed Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann for a one-year term, effective from December 2022 to December 2023.
Mr Niemann’s current contract was due to end in December this year and it was mutually agreed by Council and Mr Niemann that he would serve an additional 12 months.
After this time, Mr Niemann will depart the City of Greater Bendigo after 16 years as CEO and two years as a Director prior to that.
Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said Mr Niemann’s re-appointment reflected his excellent leadership and Council’s desire to see him remain with the organisation as staff prepare to move to Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub.
“Craig is a highly regarded CEO in Local Government with an outstanding reputation and excellent relationships at the State and Federal level. We face a critical time with an upcoming State election and the move to Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub, so certainty and continuity at the CEO level is important over the coming 18 months,” Cr Metcalf said.
“The Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub project has been a long-term goal for the organisation and public sector in our community, so it is fitting that he guide staff and Council through this period of change for the business and oversee people settling into the new building.
“In making this decision, Council has time to prepare for the organisation’s next chapter. We will seek to advertise the CEO role in mid-2023, to allow for a thorough search and smooth transition in late 2023, early 2024.
“Craig is to be commended for his strategic, measured and thoughtful approach as CEO, driven by a desire to get the best outcomes for the community. The Greater Bendigo Local Government brand is strong because of his exceptional leadership and Council looks forward to continuing to work with Craig while planning for the organisation’s ongoing success.”
When Mr Niemann departs in December 2023, he will have served a distinguished 40 years in Local Government, having previously worked at the Borough of Eaglehawk and Shire of East Loddon (prior to Council amalgamations), and then the Shire of Loddon.
Mr Niemann said he welcomed the one-year contract and felt after the City moved to Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub it would be the right time to step away.
“It has been a great honour to lead the City of Greater Bendigo. We are on the cusp of an exciting transition for our organisation and I am grateful that I will be able to see this significant project through,” he said.
“I strongly believe it will take our organisation to another level regarding performance, collaboration and efficiency, and allow us to deliver greater outcomes for our community.
“Over the coming 18 months we also plan to complete the Bendigo Airport terminal expansion and the Bendigo Botanic Gardens Central Hub, finishing this amazing public space for our community.
“There are also major projects we still seek State and Federal funding for, in particular the Bendigo Art Gallery and Golden Dragon Museum redevelopments and the Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct.
“A further year will allow for continued advocacy to attract the financial support needed to get these projects off the ground and contribute to the considerable planning required for Bendigo to host the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
“It is not yet time for reflection because there is still much to do, but I have always been very proud to fill the CEO role and the organisation’s service to the community.
“I am still excited and energised by the task and know that come December next year, I will be ready to hand over the reins at a time that’s right for the organisation, for Council to appoint a new CEO during its current term, and for me and my family.”