MAY­ORAL RACE HEATS UP

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

COUN­CIL­LOR Tony Par­sons has pulled out of the may­oral race as jostling be­gins for next year’s coun­cil elec­tion.

It is un­der­stood the Townsville First team has set­tled on a may­oral can­di­date as two high- pro­file busi­ness fig­ures con­firmed they have been ap­proached to run for the post.

Cr Par­sons, who was widely tipped to take on Mayor Jenny Hill in March next year, ruled out a may­oral tilt and con­firmed he would re­con­test the elec­tion in his coun­cil di­vi­sion.

It is be­lieved Townsville First will run with a re­branded name and ditch a num­ber of its sit­ting coun­cil­lors.

Cr Par­sons ( pic­tured) and Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch con­firmed they would re­con­test their coun­cil di­vi­sions as part of a re­freshed Townsville First team. The team won’t fea­ture Cr Jenny Lane who is likely to re­tire at the elec­tion.

Cr Par­sons wouldn’t say who his team had set­tled on as a may­oral can­di­date but said there would be an an­nounce­ment soon.

“It’s al­ways good to re­fresh and we need to do that and that’s some­thing we’re most def­i­nitely do­ing,” he said.

Mean­while, Port of Townsville chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tant UDP Pat Brady con­firmed he was ap­proached to run for mayor by key fig­ures in the busi­ness com­mu­nity, but ruled out a tilt.

“I ob­vi­ously have an in­ter­est in how well the city is run but I have no plans at this stage of run­ning for of­fice,” Mr Brady said.

“I think there’s prob­a­bly a de­sire among the busi­ness com­mu­nity to see a fresher ap­proach and a more uni­fied ap­proach. The dis­joint­ed­ness the com­mu­nity is see­ing now doesn’t help the com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ment.”

John Carey, part­ner at law firm Wil­son Ryan Grose, said he was in­for­mally ap­proached to run for mayor but he was not in­ter­ested.

Mayor Jenny Hill said she would lead an “in­de­pen­dent team” at the next poll af­ter La­bor’s ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mit­tee de­cided not to run an en­dorsed team for Townsville.

“It will be an in­de­pen­dent team – a mix of peo­ple from our com­mu­nity groups and busi­ness groups. I’ve been ap­proached by a lot of peo­ple and I’m talk­ing to them,” Cr Hill said. “I have a num­ber of more im­por­tant things on my plate that need to be dealt with.”

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