Arlett looms large in field for mayoralty
TOWNSVILLE’S mayoralty race is certainly heating up, with confirmation Jayne Arlett has been approached to head up a team at next year’s council election.
As chair of the Townsville Fire and an accomplished businesswoman, Arlett is well known in the city.
Ms Arlett is remaining tight- lipped about whether she will take on Mayor Jenny Hill for the city’s top job.
But there are plenty hoping she does throw her hat in the ring.
Arlett has done a fantastic job in turning around the fortunes of the Fire over the past several years.
Supporters are hoping she can do the same for the city, which has been hit hard by the mining downturn and hamstrung by a less- than- cohesive council.
If she does run as expected, it will make for an exciting contest.
Hill has plenty of support in the community but there is no doubt Arlett is a strong media performer and a savvy political operator.
If Arlett can put forward a fresh, united team, then Hill will have a legitimate fight on her hands.
Former Townsville Enterprise chief David Kippin is also considering a tilt at the council, although more likely as a councillor.
Regardless of who contests, the last thing the city wants is another divided council.
There has simply been too much infighting and a general lack of trust in the chamber over the past three years, which has undermined business and community confidence in the council.
That does not mean the council has not worked together successfully on several big- ticket items such as last week’s unveiling of the priority development area along Ross Ck.
But imagine what could be achieved if unity was the norm, not the exception?