The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has appointed a local government veteran to steer it through to the end of the year while chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown is on extended leave. Former City of Mandurah deputy chief Graeme Davis took up the position earlier this month after councillors approved a plan to hire him for three months. An organisational restructure reduced the shire’s directorate to just two members and the external acting CEO has been appointed to avoid overloading directors Nick Logan and James Shepherd. Mr Davis was living in Dunsborough after retiring. His first duties as acting CEO included finalising a new management deal with Arts Margaret River and shepherding through a new staff arrangement for shire workers. He told the Times he was looking forward to working with staff, councillors and community members on the shire’s corporate business plan. “In particular, (that involves) finalising the transition of the Margaret River Heart to the new management model, the development of the shire’s customer service strategy, the development of a leisure plan for the municipality and the development of the shire’s (new) long-term financial plan,” he said. “After I finish at the shire, I intend to continue to be an active community member in the South West, including contributing as a board member of the Yallingup Steiner School and working hands on with environmental groups.” Mr Davis’ tenure is expected to cost ratepayers about $62,000. He holds a graduate diploma in business and a masters of business administration and operates a consultancy working with local governments and small business. At Mandurah, his role included executive manager of strategy and business performance, which covered portfolios including finance, corporate strategy, economic development, organisational development and human resources. Mr Davis also previously worked for the City of Ballarat in Victoria and for Telstra as national sales manager and general manager.