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City of Greater Geraldton turns to contractors after recruitment stalls on 33 vacant positions

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
The City of Greater Geraldton's administation centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton's administation centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue Credit: Geoff Vivian

There are more than 30 job vacancies at the City of Greater Geraldton, with external contractors and consultants employed to enable project works to continue.

Chief financial officer Nita Jane on Tuesday revealed there were 33 vacant positions at the City, with 19 of those jobs in infrastructure services, 10 in development and community services, and four in corporate and commercial services.

Ms Jane said each position was at a different stage of the recruitment process and some had been vacant more than 10 months.

“Some positions are long-term vacant positions from pre-2021 and that is because there hasn’t been any suitable candidates, and some positions have had multiple attempts at advertising throughout 2021 without any success,” she said.

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Ms Jane said the council approved the transfer of $200,000 from employee salary and wage spending to allow for the appointment of consultants and contractors on projects affected by the staff shortage.

“Where possible we have implemented interim measures to reduce operational impacts, including short term and fixed term contracts...and labour hire companies,” she said.

“We have also reached out to retired and previous employees and have been successful in getting a retired officer to manage the safe active railway street project.”

Ms Jane said all positions were expected to be filled in the future, but could not say when this would be. “(That) relies on when there are suitable applicants available locally or when suitable applicants are not impacted by border closures,” she said. “Some business areas are now holding off on their second and third attempts until the new year when there is hope for the borders opening.”

Premier Mark McGowan is the only State or Territory leader without a roadmap for reopening after SA said it would open to vaccinated NSW and Victorian residents late next month.

Mr McGowan said families separated by border restrictions may be able to reunite “beyond the school holidays”, which end on January 30.

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