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New chairman to head QAL through crucial expansion phase

Experienced business executive and non-executive Chairman and director John O’Neill AO has been appointed Chairman of the Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) board following a national search.

Mr O’Neill said it was an exciting time to join the company, which was at the beginning of a crucial delivery phase – with an extensive capital program underway.

“A significant terminal expansion is now being delivered on the Gold Coast, and project plans are being reviewed for Townsville Airport. These major projects are focused on addressing capacity issues, preparing for future growth and improving the customer experience,” he said.

“The first airport hotel is also well underway on the Gold Coast, which is an important milestone in the development of the precinct and will boost accommodation at the southern end of the city.

“About 8.5 million people are welcomed through QAL’s four airports into destinations across Queensland and northern NSW each year. These airports are the gateways to the destinations and their success is critical to the tourism industry.”

Mr O’Neill has been Chairman of The Star Entertainment Group since 2012 and has an intimate knowledge of the tourism sector and a strong connection to Queensland after years of experience working in the industry and for companies with a focus on the state.

From 1987 until 2012, Mr O’Neill held chief executive roles at The State Bank of NSW, The Australian Rugby Union and The Football Federation of Australia. He has also been a non-executive Director on other public company boards, including Tabcorp Limited.

QAL CEO Chris Mills welcomed Mr O’Neill’s appointment, saying the new Chairman was coming on board during an exciting and critical time for the company.

“I’m looking forward to working with John as we enhance the passenger experience and create more connections to our airports over the coming years,” he said.

“John’s knowledge and experience means QAL will remain in good hands as we deliver our major capital projects.”

The QAL Board recognised the contribution of Nigel Chamier, who acted as interim Chairman while a search was undertaken for a new Chairman. Mr Chamier will step down on 30 June after serving on the QAL board for more than five years.