Basketball chief courted for Mayor
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
committing TOWNSVILLE FIRST COUNCILLOR TONY PARSONS
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”.