GM's get-to-know-you tour
IT WAS during a tour of the Evans Head Sewage Treatment Plant that the Rivertown Times had a chance to catch up with Richmond Valley Council's new general manager, John Walker.
Walking around the facility, Mr Walker took an interest in all aspects of the process shown to him by manager Sewage, Water and Pools, Terry Seymour and senior operator Adrian O'Rourke.
"This is my first time to the Evans Head facility," Mr Walker said.
"I am trying to see everything we have got (in the council area).
"This is as much to get to know the guys and the plants as it's important to know what we are talking about."
Since taking on the top job at the council, Mr Walker has made quite a strong impression on those who have dealt with him.
"I love it when people say to me, 'I can see you are making a difference'," he said.
"That makes it all worthwhile."
Mr Walker said he liked engaging with people and reiterated his policy of being as available as possible.
"On day one they gave me the water issue (with Casino Meatworks) to deal with," he laughed.
"I could see it was so important for so many people and getting it right was a big hurdle.
"But I can tick that one off now."
Mr Walker said he didn't want to destroy the good work that had been done in the past, but he saw one of his biggest jobs was to bring the community and council together again.
"We can't move forward until we repair that," he said.
"(Council) staff needs to be locked in too."
With budget preparations looming, Mr Walker is excited about the challenge of getting back to surplus.
"I don't think it's as bad as it seems," he said.
It won't be all hard work for this previous Sydneysider, however, as there are some events on the calendar that will be a bit different from city life - including Beef Week.
"I think I've been roped into cooking at the Butcher's Breakfast on the Friday morning," he said.