MAYORAL RACE HEATS UP
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.”