Jackie Jones Kristin Keam
Jackie Jones 2007, 2008
Occupation: Councillor, Mayor
After being elected to local council, Steph Hoyland went to her first meeting on her motorbike, in her leathers, only to be informed by councillor Jackie Jones that the couriers had to park at the back of the building. After realising her mistake, she apologised, and later, as Steph became frustrated that nobody was listening to her at the meeting, Jackie took her for a drink to explain a few things. She told Steph that if she wanted to get anything done, she would simply have to go through the proper avenues; firstly making sure that it was on the agenda for the next council meeting, then making sure that she had all the right people on side to vote for her motion to be passed. Though Steph felt like this was all time that could be spent better, Jackie assured her that she'd have to play by the rules before she could think about breaking them.
Eager to impress her new colleagues, Steph invited Bill Chalmers, Jackie and some other councillors to her bar, Charlie's, where a book launch for celebrity chef Tony Aristedes was being held. Steph convinced Tony to cook up a storm and the plan worked, with Bill softening towards Steph. But at a meeting the next day, Jackie warned Steph that, although she had won some leverage with the other councillors, it wasn't enough for her to go ahead with both of her plans; a new childcare centre and a memorial graffiti wall for Stingray Timmins who had died earlier that year. When she found out that the council were only giving her an additional eight childcare places, she decided to press ahead with getting more and realised that she would have to tell Stingray's family that she had failed to get permission for the wall.
Stingray's sister, Janae took the news badly, and was soon organising petitions to stop the wall from being painted over. Before long, numerous Ramsay Street residents were standing in front of the wall, preventing the council from getting any closer, and Jackie joined Steph there to find out what she planned to do about it. Torn between her friends and her duty as a councillor, Steph finally made up her mind when Jackie jokingly suggested that Steph go home and get her baby, Charlie for a photo op. At that, Steph walked over to join the protestors, and a few hours later, they heard that the council had reversed their decision - largely due to Steph - and the wall could stay.
A few months later, Jackie had worked her way up to Mayor, but not long into her tenure, tragedy hit Erinsborough when a warehouse, which had been scheduled for demolition, collapsed whilst holding an illegal rave. Due to cost-cutting, the council had decided not to use 24-hour security on the building, and, since she'd been ill that day, Steph's proxy had been used by Jackie to push the vote through. When a class action suit was started against the council over the matter, legal firm Rebecchi Cammeniti got hold of the minutes from that council meeting, and Steph was warned by ex-boyfriend Toadie that she could be facing trouble, though Steph denied any involvement. After getting into Jackie's office, Steph found another document, detailing all the faults with the warehouse, and arranged a meeting with her, warning that she wasn't about to ignore this. Later, Jackie returned, having realised that the documents were missing, and warned Steph that, if she took the matter any further, their careers, and possibly their freedom, could be on the line.
When Rebecchi Cammeniti got hold of the documents, Toadie tracked down Jackie at the General Store and warned her that they had enough information to win the lawsuit. He told Jackie to offer compensation to the victims, but instead she turned the situation around and leaked a document to the press which made it look like Steph was responsible for the whole thing. Since Steph had left town for a couple of weeks, Jackie held a press conference and implied that Steph had done a runner, though Toadie and his secretary Rebecca Napier were determined to prove otherwise. Rebecca decided to try getting through to council secretary Lydia O'Brien, who had backed up Jackie's claims about Steph and the plan seemed to work when Lydia phoned and gave her Jackie's computer password. Unfortunately it was a set-up and, as Rebecca and journalist Elle realised that the computer had been wiped, Jackie and Lydia walked in. Jackie smugly told the women that she wouldn't press charges, but hoped that this would be the end of their desperate attempts to prove Steph's innocence.
Determined that this wouldn't be the end of the matter, Toadie and Rebecca, along with many of the youngsters who'd been hurt in the warehouse collapse, crashed a council meeting. As the kids started to speak up about how they'd been affected, Jackie refused to discuss the issue, but Lydia's guilt finally got the better of her and she announced that perhaps there should be an official enquiry. As Jackie saw her support slipping away, she quickly walked out of the meeting, announcing later that day that she was resigning with immediate effect.