G-MW chief dumped

By Geoff Adams

The Goulburn-Murray Water board has dumped its managing director, Pat Lennon, just two years into his five-year contract, in the latest of sudden governance changes at the regional water authority.

Former City of Greater Shepparton chief executive officer Bill Jaboor would become interim chief executive officer, new G-MW chair Diane James said on Friday.

No explanation has been offered for Mr Lennon’s departure.

Ms James, who has been in the job for less than a month after the former chair quit without explanation, said Mr Lennon’s tenure ended under the terms of his contract, without any ex-gratia payment.

Asked about the change, Ms James said as chairman, promoting a strong governance regime was a priority for her.

‘‘I am certainly aware there have been changes in leadership at G-MW in recent years,’’ she said.

‘‘My intention is to provide stability for the organisation, its staff, stakeholders and customers.

‘‘G-MW is undergoing a transformation to better meet its challenges in the short, medium and long term to bring this work to fruition, ensuring G-MW has a sustainable future, delivering affordable services for customers and continuing to be a rewarding and satisfying workplace for staff.’’

Mr Lennon started work in October 2016, following the sudden departure of the former managing director, John Calleja, in May that year after less than 12 months in the job.

Mr Lennon came from an engineering management background with experience in energy and construction companies in Tasmania, Victoria and the United States, moving into management positions in later years.

Under Mr Lennon’s tenure the controversial Connections project began moving but a consultant’s report delivered to the organisation earlier this year made sweeping criticisms of G-MW’s governance, asset management, corporate structure, capital project delivery and engagement with customers.

Interim chief executive officer Bill Jaboor has been the chief executive officer of the Greater Shepparton, Benalla, Brimbank and Hobsons Bay municipalities.

He is currently a board member of City West Water and will continue in that role.

‘‘Bill Jaboor is the right interim managing director to ensure the ongoing leadership of G-MW while transformation continues at pace,’’ Ms James said.

‘‘I am grateful Bill has agreed to bring his ample expertise to G-MW as interim managing director.

‘‘The search for a permanent managing director begins immediately.’’

Ms James said she was dedicated to implementing the 30 recommendations from the Strategic Advisory Panel that was put in place to ensure the transformation of G-MW.