Community engagement is at the top of new MidCoast Council general manager Adrian Panuccio’s agenda.
Mr Panuccio started his new role on Monday, July 9, meeting with council staff, councillors and business leaders across the region.
He will also meet with council’s management team this week to gain a full understanding of council’s current plans and operations.
“It’s a big opportunity for me coming from North Sydney Council to an amalgamated council,” Mr Panuccio said.
"Professionally, it’s an awesome opportunity.”
Professionally, it’s an awesome opportunity.Adrian Panuccio, MidCoast Council general manager
Mr Panuccio brings to the role 17 years of local government experience, including work as a local government lawyer and a stint as North Sydney Council’s chief executive officer. He outlined why he chose a career in local government.
“It was a sense of community.
“I made a choice a couple of years ago whether to pursue my career as a local government lawyer or in local government management.
“It’s much more satisfying being in local government management because you can see some results.
“The litigation side of things isn’t as appealing, you don’t get the feedback from the community as such so the opportunity to make a difference and do something really worthwhile has steered me in this direction,” Mr Panuccio said.
Mr Panuccio said he is up for the task of “engaging with the community in a meaningful way.”
“When the council devises its plans and strategies on where it sees itself in the future, we want to ensure that we can tap into our community resources so we can devise our plans and processes to reflect what they want, as opposed to what we think they want,” Mr Panuccio said.
“As far as the future is concerned, it’s about ensuring we have robust procurement processes so if the issue for the area is infrastructure or roads (for example), our procurement processes have got to be in a way that we are getting value for money and we can continue to deliver on infrastructure improvement works.”
Away from the role, Mr Panuccio is a keen golfer, social tennis player, restorer of old cars and an avid Sea Eagles fan.
“I’ve already joined golf clubs in Gloucester, Taree and Forster,” Mr Panuccio smiled.
Steve Embury has been MidCoast Council acting general manager up until Mr Panuccio’s appointment.