SYPHER GETS THE NOD

Coun­cil by-elec­tion re­sults are in

Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - Louise Shan­non

GAI Sypher is ready to “hit the ground run­ning” as the new­est Cen­tral High­lands re­gional coun­cil­lor.

She said she was not afraid to tackle state and fed­eral lev­els, and was ded­i­cated to in­creas­ing tourism and pop­u­la­tion lev­els in the re­gion.

SHE’S ready to “hit the ground run­ning”, is not afraid to tackle is­sues at state and fed­eral govern­ment lev­els, and is ded­i­cated to in­creas­ing tourism and pop­u­la­tion lev­els in the Cen­tral High­lands.

Capella res­i­dent Gai Sypher was yes­ter­day de­clared the vic­tor of the Cen­tral High­lands Re­gional Coun­cil by-elec­tion ahead of eight other hope­fuls and she’s keen “to start con­nect­ing with my com­mu­ni­ties”.

Ms Sypher said yes­ter­day she would be legally sworn-in by the end of to­day and there would be an of­fi­cial public swear­ing-in cer­e­mony for her new po­si­tion as full-time coun­cil­lor on Oc­to­ber 24.

She said she had re­signed from her po­si­tion as cam­pus co-or­di­na­tor with Cen­tral Queens­land Uni­ver­sity where she had been em­ployed for 18 years.

“It was sad to leave as I have worked across a wide range of roles here, but it is the right de­ci­sion and I can sup­port the uni­ver­sity in many other ways.”

Ms Sypher — who was a Cen­tral High­lands coun­cil­lor for four years from 2012 — said she was dis­ap­pointed last year in her un­suc­cess­ful bid for the po­si­tion of mayor, and was look­ing for­ward to mak­ing a 100% com­mit­ment in her role as coun­cil­lor.

The cur­rent trend in the re­gion was for con­tract em­ploy­ment and ca­su­al­i­sa­tion of the work­force, she said. And while jobs ex­isted, the com­mu­nity needed im­proved fa­cil­i­ties, re­sources and ser­vices across sec­tors in­clud­ing aged care, health, sport­ing and recre­ational to en­tice peo­ple to re­main.

“We have lost the sense of com­mu­nity and if you don’t have a per­ma­nent work­force or per­ma­nent pop­u­la­tion, you sim­ply ex­ist,” she said.

Self-de­scribed as “a great com­pro­miser” and a “peo­ple per­son”, she is an ar­dent ad­vo­cate of com­mu­nity devel­op­ment and em­pow­er­ing peo­ple to come for­ward and pro­mote their de­sires for their com­mu­nity.

“We need to start look­ing at so­cial change and em­pow­er­ment to drive our coun­cils bet­ter. Coun­cil is there as a tool to get things done, but com­mu­ni­ties should be driv­ing it,” she said.

“I’d like to play a role in ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple to be able to come up with their own strate­gies for the area. Ev­ery­one is part of our coun­cil, not just nine peo­ple.”

The re­gional by-elec­tion was held at the end of last month after the res­ig­na­tion of Cr David Lacey.

PHOTO: KELLY BUTTERWORTH

ELECTED: Cen­tral High­lands re­gional coun­cil­lor Gai Sypher.

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