City of Sydney statement on City Ranger

"The City of Sydney is saddened at the passing of Mr Leong Lim, a friend and colleague and pass on our condolences to family and friends.

On 25 June, the City was informed by Mr Lim’s next of kin that they had been told that Mr Lim’s death was due to natural causes. This was passed on by the City in good faith.
After consultation with the Coroner we were advised that the cause of death has not yet been determined.

This is not a time for speculation or finger pointing. This is a time for healing and for calm.

After Mr Lim raised personnel issues in the Rangers Unit in May 2015, the CEO advised all Rangers staff that she took the matters seriously and would work to resolve them.

The matters were discussed in a meeting between Mr Lim, the United Services Union, the City’s WH&S Unit and the Chair of the WH&S Committee, which is made up of staff and management.

Actions taken to address issues raised by Mr Lim include:

  • The CEO formed an executive sub-committee with the responsible Director to identify any areas for improvement in the Rangers Unit;
  • Regular meetings have taken place in recent weeks with senior managers and coordinators in the Rangers area to hear their thoughts on what improvement actions should be taken; and
  • The City will work with rangers staff to develop a work plan to support them in their duties.

When concerns about morale within the Rangers Unit were first raised in 2012 the City organised an independent review.

Staff who took part in that review were promised their comments would be kept confidential to encourage frank and open feedback.

That review led to 'The Warfield Report’ which contains personal and confidential information about staff and so has never been publicly released in its entirety.

A number of changes have been made to improve the unit's operations since then, including:

  • Fortnightly and monthly meetings held to brief staff on operational issues and allow them to provide feedback from the field;
  • Daily duties allocated in response to changing demands;
  • Workshops and coaching provided to team leaders to improve their management abilities and create a positive workplace culture;
  • Organisational structure of the unit changed, with new coordinator roles created so team leaders can spend more time in the field with their staff;
  • Rangers given opportunities to act-up in more senior roles and mentored to assist with any skills gaps as part of career progression;
  • Regular performance conversations between staff and supervisors and agreement on personal development plans.

Throughout this process, City staff have worked cooperatively with Union representatives to resolve concerns.

The CEO has visited the Ranger's Unit to support staff and listen to how they are coping after the loss of a respected colleague. We have provided counselling services, on site, to all Rangers and continue to meet or make personal calls to members of staff who we think are particularly affected.

The Rangers are upset by the reporting of events. They are very upset that they have been approached by members of the media who have done things like wait outside their offices with cameras or put a photo of their colleague, Mr Lim, in front of them.

Our Rangers face challenging issues on the frontline. Often they have to deal with confronting behaviour from members of the public. That’s why we have been trialling video cameras on Ranger’s work vests to record evidence and discourage aggressive behaviour toward them.

All our staff take great pride in the job they do to service more than one million people every day.

I'm proud of the fantastic work they do in making our city the success it is. I’m also proud of the work we do to support our staff and make the City a good place to work."

Last updated: Tuesday, 30 June 2015