20 July 2017
Mark Smith and Anthony Galloway
FORMER Victorian Police commissioner Simon Overland has been named as the new chief executive at Whittlesea Council.
The appointment, announced today, will be the former top cop’s first foray into local government and is a five year contract.
It is understood Mr Overland recently resigned as secretary of Tasmania’s justice department to take up the role, which he will begin on August 21.
Mr Overland said he was honoured to take on the role.
“I feel very honoured in accepting this important appointment. I am looking forward to working with council, staff and the local community to deliver on council’s plans for the City of Whittlesea,” he said in a statement on the council’s website.
Mr Overland quit as the Victorian police chief in 2011 after an inquiry found police released misleading crime statistics in the lead-up to the 2010 state election.
A 20-year veteran of the Australian Federal Police before joining Victoria Police, Mr Overland headed the Purana Taskforce tackling Melbourne’s organised crime.
He replaced Christine Nixon as Chief Commissioner in 2009 before his controversial exit from the police force.
He was appointed as secretary of Tasmania’s Department of Justice by the former Labor-Green government in that state in 2012.
Mr Overland’s new appointment comes after an extensive national recruitment process by the council. It was approved unanimously by the councillors.
He will be Whittlesea’s third chief executive in the past two years.
Councillors sensationally sacked former chief executive Michael Wootten in March, just 11 months after taking over the role.
Long serving chief executive David Turnbull did not have his contract renewed in 2016.
Liana Thompson has served as acting chief executive for the past five months.
Mayor Ricky Kirkham said Mr Overland brought a wealth of experience in management and leadership.
“He has a passion for community development, quality service delivery and reforming organisations,” he said.
“As we continue to grow, it is essential we plan quality services and infrastructure for our established and new communities. Simon will be critical in ensuring the organisation meets these objectives.”