Bas­ket­ball chief courted for Mayor

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY

THE fight for City Hall could see two high- pro­file women go­ing head to head, with Townsville Fire chair­woman Jayne Ar­lett poised to chal­lenge Mayor Jenny Hill. The Bul­letin un­der­stands Ms Ar­lett has been courted to lead a team fea­tur­ing a num­ber of Townsville First coun­cil­lors with a re­branded name. Ms Ar­lett con­firmed she had been ap­proached but would not say whether she had come to a de­ci­sion.

How­ever, the Bul­letin un­der­stands she is set to take an over­hauled Townsville First team to the polls on March 19 next year.

“There have been sug­ges­tions from peo­ple to run, but other busi­ness lead­ers have been ap­proached as well,” Ms Ar­lett said. “I’m not rul­ing it in or out. Right now, my fo­cus is on the Townsville Fire and cap­i­tal­is­ing on our po­si­tion as WNBL cham­pi­ons.”

Ms Ar­lett is the owner of sev­eral suc­cess­ful Townsville busi­nesses in­clud­ing Townsville Po­di­a­try Cen­tre, which she founded in 1986.

She took the helm at the Fire at the be­gin­ning of the 2011- 12 sea­son af­ter the club nearly folded ow­ing to a num­ber of fi­nan­cial set­backs.

In her time as chair­woman, the club has quadru­pled its in­come, in­creased its at­ten­dance nearly five­fold and this year won the WNBL cham­pi­onship.

It is un­der­stood an Ar­let­tled team would run with a new name, with the pos­si­bil­ity of ditch­ing some sit­ting Townsville First coun­cil­lors.

We’ve had a num­ber of dis­cus­sions with a num­ber of peo­ple. We’ve got some­one close to


Townsville First coun­cil­lors con­firmed a week ago they had a may­oral can­di­date but would not re­veal who it was.

When asked whether the can­di­date was Ms Ar­lett yesterday, Townsville First coun­cil­lor Tony Par­sons said: “I’m not will­ing to say yes or no.

“We’ve had a num­ber of dis­cus­sions with a num­ber of peo­ple as to stand­ing as a may­oral can­di­date. We’ve got some­one close to com­mit­ting.

Cr Par­sons said he would not be re­veal­ing who the group had ap­proached “un­til that per­son’s com­mit­ted 100 per cent”.

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