Councillor will sit on airport board

DECISIONS made by the airport board could now be directly influenced by the council.

Gladstone Regional Council is technically responsible for the airport and already has a certain amount of sway with the independent board of directors.

But this year one of the six positions will be filled by a councillor, for the first time since the airport was corporatised in 2012.

Current councillors hope it will make the airport board more accountable to the community and could improve their performance which Councillor Col Chapman has labelled "disappointing".

Despite that, during Tuesday's council meeting Cr Chapman said he strongly objected to having a councillor act as a director.

"I am a bit hesitant to think any one of us - or anyone on the future council - could be qualified…," Cr Chapman said.

"… We are the (only) shareholder and we give (the board) direction every year.

"That's how we direct the board."

Cr Chapman said he expected the board made up of people from the private sector to be "more entrepreneurial", but instead they tended to be "more risk avoiders than takers".

However council CEO Stuart Randle pointed out that projects, such as building an hotel on airport land, had been put forward by the board and rejected by the council.

The decision also means either businessman Brad Bowes or lawyer Liz Baker won't have their three-year contracts renewed saving the board $20,000 a year in directors fees.

The current council made the decision, despite the fact that seven of the nine councillors said they wouldn't want the job, yet it's a member of the post-election council who will fill the position.

Cr Chapman was the only one to vote against the decision saying the positions should be filled by qualified people with experience in governance, finance and dealing with government departments.

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis

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