SHOW THEM: Darryl Branthwaite in his first day as chief executive officer of the GAPDL.
SHOW THEM: Darryl Branthwaite in his first day as chief executive officer of the GAPDL. Mike Richards

New Gladstone promotion boss begins, bonds GAPDL team

MOTIVATING and binding the Gladstone Area Promotion Development Ltd team was the first piece of business for new chief executive officer Darryl Branthwaite in his first day in the job.

After around 23 years on the GAPDL board, he took the reigns yesterday.

Moving to Gladstone in 1982, Mr Branthwaite promised not to marry an Australian woman so he would eventually return but in the end he married a New Zealander in Gladstone and still didn't return.

For those who don't know what holiday opportunities the region has to offer, Mr Branthwaite had a simple solution - show them.

"I really like that digital space with photos, footage and GoPro stuff," he said.

"We are so blessed to have the harbour, the reef, mountains for four-wheel driving, a big lake where you can water-ski and fish, the northern most surfing beach and national parks.

"You can talk and talk but once people see this place and realise we're only an hour from Brisbane..."

The GAPDL advocates for the Banana Shire and Mr Branthwaite wanted to spread the word about tourists visiting the region on four wheels.

"The drive market is just so huge and a lot of people don't know how many people are travelling through that way," he said.

"We need people to start looking at the Sand Stone Wilderness out there that is one of a kind."

On his first day on the job he was aware of the hurdles to come but looked confident in the new role promoting the region he loved.