Trio to help lead Coffs Harbour City Council

COFFS Harbour City Council has announced its new three-man executive leadership team under general manager Steve McGrath.

The new directors, who take up their roles on December 1, are Andrew Beswick as the director of business services, Chris Chapman as the director of sustainable communities and Mick Raby as the director of sustainable infrastructure.

Mr Beswick is currently the council's director of corporate business.

Mr Chapman is currently the council's director of city planning.

Mick Raby
Mick Raby

The council is losing two directors as part of the restructure of the council workforce, with the upper ranks of the council's management reduced from 30 positions to 16.

The positions of director of community development and director of city infrastructure will disappear.

"It's a team that combines experience, local knowledge and a fresh approach," Mr McGrath said

"It's a challenging time for all of us at Coffs Harbour City Council - and the local government sector in general," he said.

"But I'm confident that this new executive team will provide solid leadership as we take the organisation and city forward."

Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said she was looking forward to continuing the good work that had already been accomplished.

"As a vibrant, growing city we have a lot to look forward to in the coming years and I'm confident we have the right leadership in the new team," Cr Knight said.


Mr Beswick was previously the regional general manager (North) for statewide water corporation, TasWater.

He also held other leadership positions including acting chief executive officer of Ben Lomond Water and joint general manager and chief information officer of the Tasmanian water industry's shared services business, Onstream.

Andrew Beswick
Andrew Beswick

He was a key participant in that council's enterprise innovations, including a fibre optic network and associated IT services business, a public-private partnership for the local airport and the establishment of a tourism and community cultural centre.

Chris Chapman joined Coffs Harbour City Council in 2011 as the director of land use, health and development, bringing with him a background in both the private and public sector.

He joined Coffs Harbour from Wakool Shire Council where, as the general manager, he led the organisation through a significant period of change, largely associated with government health service and water reform.

In the private sector, he worked at PMM (Conics) Brisbane where he was the manager for both the Planning and Urban Design business units. He has also held a senior executive role with Brisbane City Council where he was the manager of development assessment.

Mick Raby joins Coffs Harbour from Fairfield City Council in Sydney where he was responsible for leading the engineering, design, project management, construction, maintenance and asset management functions of the city.

In addition to his group manager role, Mr Raby was also the chief operating officer of the council-owned Sustainable Resource Centre which is a commercial research and production facility specialising in recycling road-making materials from construction and demolition waste.

He began his local government career after full-time service in the Australian Army and the study of economics and languages at the Australian National University.

In his spare time he is a surf lifesaver and surfboat rower.

Chris Chapman
Chris Chapman

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