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Familiar face returns to Bourke


Former Bourke Shire Council General Manager, Ross Earl is returning to Bourke as Acting General Manager during April and May. Photo TWH

A familiar face will be returning to Bourke to take over the top job at Bourke Shire Council while current General Manager Leonie Brown takes annual leave.

Former General Manager Ross Earl will be stepping into the role again, after retiring from the position in October 2020.

Bourke Council has employed Mr Earl to cover the period Monday, April 24 to Thursday May 25, while current General Manager, Leonie Brown, is on leave.

Mr Earl was one of Council’s most successful General Managers after he took on the job in 2012 and was instrumental in securing funding for a number of large projects in the shire.

These included the new water treatment plant, the town’s emergency bore water supply, various town infrastructure upgrades, the new Olympic pool, the setting up of the Far North West Joint Organisation of Councils and the introduction of air services to Bourke.

His contribution was also a major factor in Bourke Council receiving the A R Bluett Local Government Award in 2019.

Mr Earl has not put his feet up in retirement, however, and is now Executive Officer of the Joint Organisation of Councils that includes Bourke, Walgett, and Cobar Shire councils.

“I am really looking forward to spending time back in Bourke and catching up with people - and with work,” he said.

“l enjoyed my time in Bourke so it’s always good to come back for visits and I’ve been out a couple of times for JO meetings.

“It will be great to be able to do that face-to-face for a while. I am also doing some work regarding the airline services, and this is an opportunity to do that hands on.”

Mr Earl said on the occasions when he had been back to Bourke since retiring, he was impressed with the upgrade to the main street and the general appearance of the town.

“The main street looks terrific, it’s colourful and welcoming and a credit to the town,” he said.

“I remember when my wife Annette and I first arrived in Bourke, the main street was very stark and on Sunday afternoons it was quite barren.

“That’s certainly not the case now, and the whole town looks good, with a lot more green areas, so that’s really pleasing to see.”

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