Cochrane to lead Community Alliance team at council elections
The team: Community Alliance will be led by Margaret Cochrane. Her team (from left) is Roslyn Smith, Alan Blake, Sam Marino, Steve Grasso and Rhonda Coghlan. Picture: ANNA ROGERS
Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane is banking on passion rather than experience, revealing the first group of candidates she hopes to take to the council chamber in her bid to become the mayor of Cairns.
Cr Cochrane and fellow councillor Alan Blake are the only incumbent CRC representatives on the Deputy Mayor’s new team, which was officially launched yesterday.The team, called Community Alliance, so far includes council candidates in five divisions, with plans to recruit another four members in time for the March 31 poll.
"I was originally going to run as an independent mayoral candidate but as candidates came to me, I found that (we) all have one thing in common – it’s all about the community and listening to the community," Cr Cochrane said. Candidates Sam Marino, Steve Grasso, Rhonda Coghlan and Roslyn Smith have spent no time in local government, but Cr Cochrane has touted the group’s experience in business and community service.
"We think that you really need to have a business background to be on council – it’s the biggest business in Cairns," she said. Community Alliance will not reveal its policies until closer to election day, but a statement from Cr Cochrane suggests the group will focus on helping local businesses and improving the region’s sporting facilities.
She has ordered her troops to pound the pavement in their divisions ahead of election day, saying doorknocking would be "priority No. 1" for the group."I think that by listening, you can get a very good feel of what the community wants," Cr Cochrane said.
Community Alliance is still looking for candidates in the outlying divisions on the south side of Cairns and the former Douglas shire. But the group won’t put up a candidate in division one, where independent candidate Steve Brain is expected to snare an easy victory.
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