Aerial view of Gladstone Airport, Clinton.
Aerial view of Gladstone Airport, Clinton.

Directors back on airport board after $55.2m writedown

Two directors on the Gladstone Airport Corporation board have been reappointed, less than six months after the council wrote down the value of the airport by $55.2 million.

This comes after council’s liabilities owing on Gladstone Airport were reduced from $71.9m to $16.7m in its 2019 – 2020 annual report.

The $55.2 million writedown of the value of the airport came after a drastic reduction in passenger traffic due to COVID.

Gladstone Region councillors voted on the reappointment of Tina Zawila and Graeme Kanofski, whose terms end on June 30, at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Both council staff and the airport board chair, Adrienne Ward, recommended Ms Zawila and Mr Kanofski be reappointed in council papers.

Council’s general manager of Finance Governance and Risk, Mark Holmes, told councillors as sole shareholder of the airport, the council was tasked with appointing the board.

A plane on approach to Gladstone Airport. Picture: Brenda Strong / The Observer
A plane on approach to Gladstone Airport. Picture: Brenda Strong / The Observer

Ms Zawila and Mr Kanofski were both the most recently appointed directors on the board, and will have served terms of four years at June 30.

Mr Holmes said councillors should consider whether the board members contain the right skill mix, plus how long board members had served compared to the advised maximum of 10 years.

Cr Natalia Muszkat questioned why the airport board had six directors, when it was common for boards to have an odd number of appointed people.

“Is there a reason where we have six and not five or seven,” she said.

Cr Matt Burnett said originally two councillors were appointed to the board and the legislation said there should have been only one councillor sitting as a director.

Current council voluntary airport board director, Cr Rick Hansen, vouched for the skills of both Ms Zawila and Mr Kanofski.

“Tina Zawila has excellent financial skills and knowledge and brings those skills to the board and continues to do so,” he said.

“Of course Graeme Kanofski with his historical knowledge of the airport and in local government are both invaluable.”

Cr Kahn Goodluck then questioned moving the directors tenures, so a number of directors tenures don’t expire at the same time.

Gladstone Regional Council councillors.
Gladstone Regional Council councillors.

Mr Holmes said the tenures of directors could have been adjusted at Tuesday’s meeting, or next year when the appointments of Dr Bradley Bowles, Leigh Zimmerlie and chair Adrienne Ward were up for renewal.

Cr Glenn Churchill suggested with the current challenges facing the airport, changing the board wasn’t advisable.

“In light of the current circumstances at the airport, with the challenges that they’re currently facing, I think continuity right at this stage, in particular these two at the moment that are up for review is paramount,” he said.

“I think it will have merit in leading up to 30th of June 2022 that we do perhaps undertake a review of a revolving reappointment of directors.”

The motion to reappoint both directors was moved by Cr Muszkat, seconded by Cr Churchill and carried unanimously.

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