Thursday, February 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Whitsunday Regional Council, Warren Bunker, will officially start his new role on Monday, replacing Rod Ferguson who is moving into retirement.
Bunker has been in local government for the past 28 years, beginning his career in the planning department as the first Strategic Planner to be employed by Caloundra Council.
He then worked his way up through the ranks, becoming the Director of Governance and Strategy, before taking on the role of Director of Regional Strategy and Planning for the newly amalgamated Sunshine Coast Council.
His most recent position was Group Executive of Liveability and Natural Assets, and Bunker says he looks forward to bringing his experience working with both tourism and agriculture to his role as CEO.
“I’ve got a high level of understanding of local government, what the rules are and how to use them to the best,” he said.
Eager to watch, listen and learn, Bunker says that he is eager to observe, understand and “ask silly questions” when he first takes on the role.
He explains that a CEO’s role has three central pillars – to assist the Mayor and Councillors by helping them make good decisions and providing the necessary information.
Secondly, running the business of Council and its operations.
“This means more than just rates, rubbish and roads,” he said.
“There are over 70 different services we look after from the libraries through to the swimming pools.”
Lastly, Bunker will ensure good governance by working with the community.
“I have a big belief in talking with the community,” he explains.
“I am more likely to be listening and observing.”
Bunker is also looking forward to making good partnerships with neighbouring Councils in order to create better funding opportunities for the broader region.
No stranger to the Whitsundays, he spent many school holidays here as a child, visiting almost every year while his dad worked as an accountant for some of the island resorts.