New national president for LGMA

The Chief Executive Officer at Greater Dandenong City Council in Victoria, John Bennie was officially appointed Local Government Managers Australia national president on the final day of LGMA's recent National Congress and Business Expo in Cairns.

Before 400 delegates, comprising CEOs, general managers and mayors, John Bennie took the reigns as LGMA National President from his predecessor Kingborough Council (TAS) General Manager, Paul West who held the position for the last 12 months.

Beginning his extensive career in Local Government in 1976 when he worked as a design and construction engineer at the then City of Doncaster and Templestowe, John has since then he has been involved in various executive roles. These include CEO and previously Director of City Development at Manningham City Council, Group Manager of Service and Planning at Mornington Peninsula Shire and District Manager for Hawthorn at Boroondara City Council.

Chief Executive of LGMA National, John Ravlic, welcomed John Bennie's leadership.

"As the new national President he will be a spokesperson for Local Government professionals Australia wide," John Ravlic said. "We look forward to John's leadership as we continue to deal with significant Local Government challenges such as infrastructure, climate change, financial sustainability and skills shortages."

John Bennie will hold the position of national president for 12 months.

The 2011 Congress staged from 22-25 May at the Cairns Convention Centre attracted some 400 delegates.

Master of Ceremonies Geraldine Doogue presented alongside prominent keynote speakers including Graham Sansom, Director of ACELG at University of Technology Sydney; Lindsay Tanner, Former Labor MP; Phillip Bullock, Skills Australia Chairman; Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator for Infrastructure Australia; Peter McKinlay, Director of the Local Government Centre at AUT University (New Zealand); James Woodford, Lecturer at James Cook University (QLD); and Stephen Mayne, Councillor at the City of Manningham and founder of