KEEP hay in the shed was the message former Cabonne Council general manager Graeme Fleming gave to his replacement Andrew Hopkins.
Mr Hopkins said the analogy referred to the cash reserves the council had to provide services to the area.
“Sustainability is the biggest thing for Cabonne,” he said.
Mr Hopkins took over the general manager’s role two weeks ago and is loving the job.
He has worked in Brisbane, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and says he is loving the country life.
“Our children are three, five and seven, and we wanted them to know what it’s like to be Australian,” he said.
Mr Hopkins said the biggest issue for Cabonne was the upkeep of assests, but wasn’t willing to discuss issues surrounding amalgamation or break-away groups until he had been in the job for another couple of months.
He said being the general manager of Cabonne wasn’t too different to managing compounds in Saudi Arabia.
“You would think it would be different but it’s not, the communities under management were compounds that weren’t huge, only about 46,000 people,” he said.
Mr Hopkins said meeting people was his favourite part of the job and he was looking forward to delving deeper into the communities in Cabonne.
“I grew up on a farm in the Lockyer Valley and my wife grew up on a farm in Inverell and we really wanted our children to know what living in a rural community was like,” he said.
Mr Hopkins served on Brisbane City Council as a town planner for three years before a stint in urban development with the Queensland government.
He set up his own urban planning business, which led to his overseas stints, and after he sold his business he worked in Abu Dhabi as an advisor to the department of municipal services.
Before taking up the general manager’s position at Cabonne Council he worked as an urban planner for engineering firm AKON.
He said Mr Fleming would be a hard act to follow.
“I think we are a bit different though, people prioritise things differently,” he said.