Lockyer Valley finance boss takes on Gympie purse strings
David Lewis has one firm rule when it comes to unravelling the challenges of Gympie Regional Council’s financial performance.
“I don’t mind what decisions the council make, as long as they make a truly informed decision and are aware of the consequences.”
Mr Lewis has joined the council as its new Director of Corporate Financial Services after serving as its acting Chief Financial Officer for the past nine months.
Married and a father, the Ipswich-born Mr Lewis has a range of interests including squash and surf life saving.
But he has built a career on crunching numbers with a resume including time as the financial services manager with Sunshine Coast Regional Council and then almost a decade with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council as its executive manager for its corporate and community services.
And he has tackled some large financial challenges in that time.
One was amalgamation, where Mr Lewis “had to try and join the financial systems for that entity together and then try and develop budgets for the whole of council.”
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“That was probably … close to a $780 million budget,” he said.
Then there was the problem of Lockyer Valley’s books and their ongoing operational deficits at the time.
“Lockyer had just gone through significant stress,” Mr Lewis said.
“I saw an opportunity to go in there and help rebuild the organisation.”
He was drawn to Gympie for the same reason: rebuilding.
“I think the organisation has been let down,” Mr Lewis said.
“It’s about giving people the tools to do their jobs well and let them get satisfaction with those outcomes.
“It’s not about the dollars … it’s about understanding what the dollars mean.
“If the council wants to run a deficit as long as it has an informed decision about what that means.”