Local woman recruited to 'deal with' Gladstone airport's $30m debt

GLADSTONE Airport owes the council $30 million and to claw back to the black, 50% of its profits will returned to the council coffers.

It will be a difficult task with dropping flight numbers and passengers as seen by the 15.9% decrease in traffic on the Gladstone Brisbane routes from this July compared to last.

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That's one reason Gladstone Regional Council appointed accountant Tina Zawila to sit on the board as of July 1, 2017 at its general meeting on Tuesday.

The decision was made as the council tried to "deal with" the board it had inherited from the previous council according to mayor Matt Burnett.

Tina Zawila of Sothertons, Gladstone.
Tina Zawila of Sothertons, Gladstone. Contributed

As a result, Adrienne Ward and Leigh Zimmerlie will join the board effectively immediately and Mrs Zawila with Graeme Kanofksi were appointed to start next year.

Mrs Ward and Mrs Zimmerlie will replace Owen Williams and John George who didn't have their positions renewed in August.

Mrs Zawila and Mr Kanofski will replace David Hamill and Tony Goodwin after their tenure has lapsed.

Cr Burnett said David Hamill was not getting his tenure renewed because his was not local.

"Tony Goodwin is a local and has done an amazing job but he has been on the board for five years so we will freshen it up," he said.

He said Mr Goodwin was an amazing lawyer and his praise for Mrs Zawila was similar.

"Tina is an amazing accountant and will bring that financial background in," said Cr Burnett.


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Mrs Zawila moved to Gladstone with her parents when she was three and has lived and worked here ever since.

Now director of Sothertons Accountants she said she would apply her financial background to the position.

"I understand both the economic cycle and business cycle that Gladstone goes through. That's the advantage of being local," she said.

"I know how to operate a business and make decisions to take advantage of the good times and stay strong and solid when the economy isn't so favourable.

"Locals know the market and we know Gladstone comes out of every boom stronger and more vibrant."

She said she understood her main role on the board.

"It is an important asset to the community and we want to see a commercial return from that asset," she said. "My role obviously is to get that return."

She also understood that the airport had different standards to many businesses.

"At the same time with wanting to get a return, it is critical it operates safely and contributes to a social and economic role with the community," she said.

Mrs Zawila couldn't say where her first moves on the board would be.

"At this time, until July 1, I only have access to the public information that is more than 12 months old," she said.

"But I am very excited to be working with all of them on a strong board.

"I just have a wait a little while for that."

Topics:  council, gladstone, gladstone airport, gladstone airport board, gladstone region, gladstone regional council, matt burnett

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