Gladstone Airport boss appointed, lucrative position scrapped
THE new chairperson of the Gladstone Airport Corporation board came down to a vote between two people; and yesterday councillors did just that.
At the Gladstone Regional Council commercial services committee meeting councillors voted to appoint Gladstone business woman and multiple franchise co-owner Adrienne Ward as the new chair.
While the decision will need to be formally ratified at the council's general meeting on Tuesday, unless any councillors change their vote, she will replace the current chair, Dr David Hamill on July 1.
Mrs Ward is already a member of the board, appointed in September 2016.
She also owns four McDonald's chains with her husband in the region.
She said she was honoured to be appointed by the councillors and would look forward to continuing achieving great outcomes for all the stakeholders of the airport, the community and the Gladstone region.
While councillors had different views for the chair position based on both professional and personal experiences with the candidates, one thing all councillors agreed on was whether the board needed a deputy chairperson.
The chairperson of the board is paid $40,000 a year, with the deputy paid $25,000.
All other members of the board are paid $20,000, with the exception of Cr Rick Hansen who is a member on behalf of the council.
During the meeting councillors agreed that appointing a deputy chairperson was an unnecessary cost.
It was a motion first moved by Cr Kahn Goodluck to abandon the position, seconded by Cr Glenn Churchill, who said as a previous member of the board, he knew the position "just wasn't necessary".
"... Because in the absence of the appointed chairperson, another member of the board can take that role for a meeting or two," he said.
"They are all very capable, sufficient and effective people of being in that position.
"And if the absence of the chairperson became an ongoing thing well that would mean that council would need to re-visit its decision."
Both Cr Peter Masters and deputy mayor Chris Trevor said they personally knew candidate Graeme Kanofski; whom Cr Trevor said would gain his vote not only because Mr Kanofski's qualifications were "impeccable" but also simply because he had never met Mrs Ward.
But Cr Masters said it would be "brilliant" to have a local woman take on the senior role.
"Overall we just have a great group of candidates and options, who all have different experiences and credentials," he said.
Commercial services committee chair PJ Sobhanian said the reshuffle of board members was normal organisation turnover.
"We were blessed to have the options between great candidates, and it is terrific that Mrs Ward will very-likely take on this role," he said.
"And when Dr Hamill's tenure ends in July 2017, and the tenure of any member, we will thank them for what they have been able to achieve and the years of service they put into the GAC."