Council says farewell to inaugural CEO
  • Thursday 23 April 2015

Sunshine Coast Council’s inaugural CEO, John Knaggs, today said goodbye to Council after almost eight years in the role.

His official duties concluded with the April Ordinary Meeting which included a special presentation to the departing CEO who will now head up SunCentral Maroochydore, charged with developing the new Maroochydore CBD.

Mr Knaggs first came to the Sunshine Coast back in 2002 as the General Manager of Planning and Development for the Maroochy Shire Council and took on the role of CEO two years later.

He was appointed CEO for the newly amalgamated Sunshine Coast Regional Council in September 2007.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said Mr Knaggs’ contributions as CEO could not be overstated and praised his “passion, professionalism and commitment to the Sunshine Coast region”.

“John has led the organisation and the region through a period of significant turmoil and change brought about by Local Government reform in Queensland,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The fact that the Sunshine Coast Council is in such tremendous shape, that we are serving the community well and that the region is being well positioned for the future, is no small part due to John’s leadership of the organisation.

“Our organisation is in excellent health.

“We have a high-quality workforce, a ‘strong’ rating by Queensland Treasury Corporation, long-term financial plans in place, award-winning workplace health and safety and a very positive culture.”

Mayor Jamieson said Mr Knaggs had helped to deliver the first Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme and overseen a large range of significant infrastructure projects, including Maroochy Boulevard, major sewerage treatment plant upgrades, the Cooroy Library, transit centres at Aerodrome Road and Hastings Street, the Sunshine Coast Stadium, the Cooroy Bypass and the Maroochy Bushlands Botanic Centre.

“All up, that’s a capital works spend over the years in the order of $2.5 billion,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“With that work finalised, this Council is progressing a range of innovative projects most local governments only get to dream of leading.

“John has been central to each and every one of these initiatives, including the development of the Sunshine Coast Airport, the new Sunshine Coast Solar Farm project and of course the Maroochydore City Centre Project.”

The Mayor also thanked the departing the CEO for the personal help he had given him during his time in charge.

“His extensive experience in local government and his understanding of the interplay between the three levels of government is something that I have particularly valued and have learnt from during my time in this role,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“He will do an outstanding job in this new role just as he has been an outstanding CEO with Council.”

Deputy Mayor Chris Thompson said Council had benefitted greatly from the combination of Mr Knaggs’ town planning experience as well as his understanding of the importance of sound financial management.

“During his tenure as CEO, John has endured many tumultuous periods including water reform, amalgamation and de-amalgamation, and changes in state government regulations which included the local government and the sustainable planning acts,” Cr Thompson said.

“During these periods in particular, the organisation has always managed to emerge in a better position and this is in no small measure to the leadership provided by John Knaggs.”

Cr Ted Hungerford described Mr Knaggs as “a very steadying force”.

“We owe him an enormous vote of thanks for what he has done for our Council and our region, especially for what he achieved through the major challenges of amalgamation and de-amalgamation,” Cr Hungerford said.