Mayor hold­ing fire on Ar­lett

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

TOWNSVILLE Mayor Jenny Hill has re­fused to be drawn on the prospect of fac­ing Townsville Fire chair­woman Jayne Ar­lett at next year’s elec­tion.

It comes as for­mer Townsville En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive David Kip­pin, who was con­sid­er­ing run­ning for mayor, ruled him­self out of the race.

Ms Ar­lett is not ready to of­fi­cially con­firm she is run­ning but the Bul­letin un­der­stands she has all but agreed to con­test the elec­tion.

Ms Ar­lett has been courted to lead a team fea­tur­ing a num­ber of Townsville First coun­cil­lors with a re­branded name to the Townsville City Coun­cil elec­tion on March 19 next year.

Cr Hill said she didn’t want to com­ment on the likely chal­lenge from Ms Ar­lett as she had yet to of­fi­cially de­clare her may­oral tilt.

“The elec­tion’s still a fair few months away,” Cr Hill said.

“All elec­tions are hard­fought and I’ll be con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on my job as mayor at the mo­ment and work­ing for the com­mu­nity. I’m sure there will be more than one can­di­date.”

Mr Kip­pin said he had pulled out of the race be­cause he felt he could use his skills to help the city in other ways.

Mr Kip­pin con­firmed he was ap­proached by Cr Hill to run as a coun­cil­lor on her team but turned it down.

“I was en­cour­aged by the level of sup­port I was get­ting and it was grow­ing since it came out in the pa­per,” Mr Kip­pin said. “Once I de­cided I wasn’t run­ning for mayor then run­ning for coun­cil wasn’t an op­tion for me.

“The mayor re­spect­fully ap­proached me and I re­spect­fully de­clined.

“I think Jenny has earned the right to have another shot. I don’t agree with ev­ery­thing she does and she doesn’t agree with ev­ery­thing I do, but we have a healthy re­spect for each other in our core pas­sion for the re­gion and the city.”

David Kip­pin.

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