GIRL POWER: Gladstone region councillor Desley O'Grady, incoming councillor Natalia Muszkat and recently appointed Gladstone Regional Council CEO Leisa Dowling.
GIRL POWER: Gladstone region councillor Desley O'Grady, incoming councillor Natalia Muszkat and recently appointed Gladstone Regional Council CEO Leisa Dowling. Contributed

By-election win a boost for Gladdy girl power

INCOMING councillor Natalia Muszkat is encouraging women to become more involved in local politics as she prepares to be sworn in tomorrow.

"I'd like to have more women in council if possible," she said.

"I know you want to get the best person for the job but I find it hard to believe we don't have enough women to take up this position.

"I'd the community to start to realise there's a lot of potential in everyone equally and not everything is about a personality contest."

Ms Muszkat was in the public gallery at Tuesday's council meeting.

While coming to regular council meetings proved difficult in the past due to her role as chief executive officer at Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours, it wasn't the first time she'd seen councillors in action.

"I've been to a few over the years, especially some of the controversial ones," she said.

"I do speak to a lot of the councillors often and regularly about different things we do together around the community and projects we have in common."

Ms Muszkat doesn't believe she'll be daunted by the inner workings of council and is looking forward to joining in the debate around the chamber.

"I think I'm going to have to learn to have a little more patience because obviously things don't move as quickly as sometimes they should," she said.

"I've just got to concentrate on the objective that it is - making decisions that have the best outcomes for everyone."

Gladstone councillor Desley O'Grady said it was great to have a female back on the team after the resignation of Cindi Bush, but would have backed any of the six by-election candidates to do the job.

"I don't think it would have mattered if it was female or male, I can work with anybody," Cr O'Grady said.

"It will be good to have a woman and some woman ideas come back so it'll be great."

Ms Muszkat won by 866 votes over Elders Real Estate Gladstone owner Colin Burke.



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