SYPHER GETS THE NOD
Council by-election results are in
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.
ELECTED: Central Highlands regional councillor Gai Sypher.