Where is Council’s CEO

Scenic Rim CEO David Keenan answers questions at the draft budget community consultation in Beaudesert
Scenic Rim CEO David Keenan answers questions at the draft budget community consultation in Beaudesert

Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer, David Keenan, has been absent from his position after taking leave and Council appears uncertain as to when or whether he will return. 

Keenan, who was appointed to the position in October 2022, took leave to play in the National Masters AFL Carnival on the Sunshine Coast, held early October. 

Local government 

Keenan has worked in Senior Management positions in local government for over 25 years. 

Prior to his appointment with Scenic Rim Regional Council, he was CEO of Mount Isa Shire Council for two years. 

He was also CEO of Southern Downs Regional Council from 2015 to 2020, his departure announced following a Special Meeting called by Mayor Vic Pennisi. 

When announcing Keenan’s departure from Council, Pennisi thanked Keenan for his service to the community. 

Keenan’s contract as General Manager of Tweed Shire Council was terminated 10 months into his three-year contract, following what was believed to be an irreparable breakdown in relations between Keenan and the Tweed Shire Mayor. 

His LinkedIn page states, “David had his role concluded after he was requested to undertake an investigation into alleged corruption. There were protests from the community when David’s role was concluded.” 

Acting CEO appointed 

On 2 October 2023, a Special General Meeting of Scenic Rim Regional Council was called to consider the appointment of the Acting Chief Executive Officer.  This meeting was held on 5 October 2023. 

The meeting included a closed session which went for over half an hour. 

It was moved by Cr Virginia West, seconded by Cr Michael Enright that the meeting go into closed session.  This motion was carried, with only Division 2 Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Jeff McConnell, opposing the motion. 

When the meeting returned to open discussion, Mayor Greg Christensen put a motion to appoint General Manager Council Sustainability, Oliver Pring, to act as Chief Executive Officer during any period when the CEO is absent from duty or cannot perform the required responsibilities from 7 October 2023 to 30 April 2024. 

The motion was seconded by Cr McConnell. 

The Mayor said the pre-approval of an Acting Chief Executive Officer has been available historically to provide cover for the Chief Executive Officer and thanked Councillors that they had been able to put this in place.  

The motion was carried, with only Division 1 Councillor Amanda Hay opposing the motion. 


Council has previously had pre-approval of an Acting CEO in place, with both Oliver Pring and Caroline McMahon, General Manager People and Strategy, holding the position at different times. 

There had not been an Acting CEO appointed since McMahon’s appoint expired prior to Keenan’s appointment. 

A Council spokesperson said the Special Meeting was required to fulfill Council’s obligation of ensuring a resolution was in place to cover leave or absence by the CEO. 

Will he return? 

The spokesperson said at this stage, Council is unaware how long Mr Keenan will be on leave. 

“The CEO is unavailable to perform his Council duties until further notice.” 

Council would not answer whether David Keenan was on paid or unpaid leave, or the nature of his leave. 

During his absence Mr Keenan has been active on LinkedIn, posting after completing his first Bridge to Brisbane 10 kilometre run on Sunday 15 October. 

SRM Print

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