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The Bendigo Trust has endured another shock with the news its chief executive will resign after less than a year in the top job.
Roy Endacott, who joined the trust last June, has announced he will end his three-year contract so he can return to England for family reasons.
Mr Endacott was charged with saving the ailing tourist tram service and ensuring the trust's financial viability.
His resignation follows a tumultuous time for the Trust, with 11 tramways employees sacked in February because of inconsistent contract work and the council dumping a controversial $3.7 million plan to extend tramlines around Lake Weeroona.
The tram plan, now the subject of an auditor general's investigation, was projected to lift patronage and earn the tramways $100,000 a year.
However, Mr Endacott yesterday said his resignation was unrelated to the difficulty of turning around the trust's financial position.
"I think it was a very, very hard decision and it was more difficult to make that decision to move back than come here, but I have got a family commitment and I guess they have to come first," he said.
The Endacott family migrated to Australia about two years ago, but will now return to England to be with Mr Endacott's elderly parents.
"It wasn't my intention to be leaving, but the decision was forced on me by family commitments," he said.
"I'm very sad to be leaving, but if it wasn't for my parents I wouldn't be leaving.
"The situation can change quickly when you've got elderly parents.
"I certainly wouldn't have taken the job if I knew I'd be leaving; stability is what's needed in a situation like this."
Mr Endacott said he believed the trust had a bright future and was pleased with the progress made during his time at the helm.
Two City of Greater Bendigo councillors have expressed sadness that the head of the Bendigo Trust will leave his post.
Roy Endacott has announced he will resign as chief executive officer of the Bendigo Trust to return to England for family reasons.
His decision comes after less than a year in the role, during which he presided over some difficult decisions, including the sacking of 11 tramways staff, in order for the trust to remain viable.
Cr Wayne Gregson, who is the council representative on the Bendigo Trust board, said he was saddened to hear the city would lose Mr Endacott's expertise.
"You don't get someone like that every second Tuesday," he said.
"It would be correct to read it in that light as another blow to the tramways."
Cr Gregson said Mr Endacott's performance overseeing of the trust during a difficult time was admirable.
"It's my firm belief that the next CEO is going to have an absolutely easy road because of what Roy managed to achieve," he said.
"He's been through probably probably the most tumultuous time in the trust's history.
"No matter what happens, it'll be upwards and onwards from now on."
Mayor Rod Fyffe said the news was a shame.
"We're disappointed Roy is going, because he's a very good operator, but we understand these things happen," he said.
"He has to do the best thing by himself and his family and we wish him all the best."
Bendigo Trust president Lloyd Cameron said it would meet with the council next week to arrange appointing a new CEO.
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