GONE: Whitsunday Regional Council's CEO John Finlay resigned from his role last week and left almost immediately. He is pictured here at Council's organisational review meeting, where it was announced that he would have to re-apply for his job.
GONE: Whitsunday Regional Council's CEO John Finlay resigned from his role last week and left almost immediately. He is pictured here at Council's organisational review meeting, where it was announced that he would have to re-apply for his job.

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council's CEO John Finlay has resigned from his role saying he will "pursue new pathways".

Mr Finlay tendered his resignation last Thursday, October 25 and left almost immediately but would not comment on the reasons or abruptness of his departure.

"It's been an honour to have the opportunity to work in the Bowen Shire and Whitsunday Regional Councils," he told the Whitsunday Times this week.

"I've been blessed with having the opportunity of working with great and amazing people within Council and the community for the benefit of the community and I've made life-long friends and I guess my wife has as well," he said.

Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney was also reluctant to comment on the how and why of the CEO's resignation.

"At the moment all I'm prepared to say is that he has resigned," she said on Tuesday night.

Former mayor Mike Brunker said he felt Mr Finlay may have been perceived as being too close to the previous administration.

"I think there's been a bit of a witch hunt for senior staff since the election was lost," he said.

Two months ago, Mr Finlay was among senior staff members who were told their jobs would be advertised externally as part of Council's independent organisational review.

At the time of the announcement, Mr Finlay said he "absolutely" intended to apply.

Mr Finlay started work with the Bowen Shire Council as a director of financial services under mayor Col Leather in 1996. In 1998 he became director of corporate financial services when the two departments merged. This was also a deputy CEO's position and in 2004 he stepped into the major role.

"Then in 2008, when we amalgamated, the Council advertised externally for the position of CEO, for which I applied and was successful with that application," he said.

Mr Brunker described Mr Finlay as "probably one of the most respected financial CEO's around in the state".   

"He was instrumental in turning Bowen around from their financial woes in '97 and of course we had to do the same thing again in 2008 with the amalgamated councils," he said.   

Mr Finlay said the highlights of his time as Whitsunday Regional Council CEO from an infrastructure point of view included the upgrades to the Cannonvale and Proserpine sewage plants, water treatment plants for Proserpine and Bowen and the upgrade to the Airlie main street.  

He said his most memorable moments were being involved in giving permission for the 'Behind the Cane' and 'Whitsunday LIVE' productions and the blockbuster film 'Australia', which was filmed in Bowen.  

"They came to us and said they wanted to run cattle down the main street of Bowen.We were just thinking of all sorts of implications but we said yes and when you watch the movie it's one of the most amazing bits," he said.

"And that's what it's all about - making little decisions like that to make things happen." Mr Finlay said after 33 years of working for councils he would "possibly miss it".  

"But it depends on what my new pathway is," he said.

  Cr Whitney confirmed on Tuesday that the former business development manager of Whitsunday Coast Airport Scott Waters would stand in as acting CEO pending further discussion at the Council meeting yesterday.  

At the time of going to press, the mayor was not available for an update or further comment.   

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Former marine biologist weighs in on pink water

Pink water and a strong smell was discovered at Airlie beach lagoon inlet this morning

A strong smell was in the air at the Airlie lagoon this morning.

Domino's hits ground running

TEAM DOMINOS: Deepala Sha, Nicole Reville, Manjula Ravi, Lily Muir, Gabby Harper, Dean Bobak, Latif Abul, Tim Stilwel and Raymond Black of the Airlie Beach Dominoes store.

One year on and Domino's is on track

Thundakats to hear it first

READY TO ROCK: Thundamentals will surprise fans with new music when they hit the stage at Magnums Hotel on Saturday night.

Thundamentals will hit Magnums tomorrow night

Local Partners

An 'Aussie twist' on the great Christmas classic

The Whitsundays College of English presented their play 'An Aussie night Before Christmas' on Thursday to kids at Cannonvale Library.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!