Former Toowoomba council CEO sacked from NSW job

Ken Gouldthorp and Mayor Paul Antonio have a final coffee together after his resignation in 2012.
Ken Gouldthorp and Mayor Paul Antonio have a final coffee together after his resignation in 2012. Nev Madsen

FORMER Toowoomba Regional Council CEO Ken Gouldthorp has been sacked from his job at Newcastle council.

In a statement released last night Newcastle City Council said it had voted to end the contract of its general manager, Ken Gouldthorp. 

The move could cost Newcastle's ratepayers about $1 million.

It is not the first time he has received a golden handshake and he resigned as chief executive officer of Toowoomba Regional Council in 2012 in controversial circumstances.

A source close to Toowoomba council at the time cited personality clashes with several elected representatives as the driving factor behind the resignation.

Toowoomba council did not say whether he received a redundancy package.

Mr Gouldthorp received a $500,000 golden handshake after resigning as CEO of Mackay City Council in 2008.

Yesterday's sacking came on the same night that new financial data showed that the Newcastle council's bottom line had improved by almost $40 million since Mr Gouldthorp was appointed, The Newcastle Herald reports.

Mr Gouldthorp was two years into a five-year contract. 

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the decision was not taken lightly.

"My colleagues and I have deliberated at length on this matter, and have decided that it would be in the best interests of the organisation to secure new operational leadership moving forward," she said.

"I thank Mr Gouldthorp for his service to Newcastle and wish him well."

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