RUNNING: Division 1 candidate Raelene Ellis.
RUNNING: Division 1 candidate Raelene Ellis.

Lawyer lays down challenge to councillor

THE fourth candidate to stand under a Greens banner has confirmed she will contest the seat of Division 1.

Lawyer Raelene Ellis announced she would take a tilt at unseating incumbent Councillor Rick Baberowski when the Coast hit the polling booths on March 28.

Ms Ellis said key concerns in her campaign would be transparency and honest government, which had motivated her to run.

“Governments at all levels make decisions for the people and, except where crucial, the decision-making process should be open and politicians should be accountable,” she said.

“The Sunshine Coast Council has previously come under fire for its use of closed-door decision making.”

She committed to holding “regular listening posts” and ensuring her availability to the electorate if elected.

Ms Ellis also committed to immediately proposing the council declared a climate emergency.

“Our country is burning, our rivers are running dry, our southern neighbours are facing an environmental crisis never seen before,” she said.

“We on the Sunshine Coast are thankful the fires we experienced did not reach such magnitude.

“We must take action now.”

She said access to public transport and services was also vital, particularly for the “burgeoning development in Aura” and other parts.

“These new developments, including where I live at Bells Reach, have some community benefits such as many allocated green spaces, parks and community gardens,” she said.

“It will be important to ensure that these areas are appropriately managed to ensure they remain clean and accessible green, community spaces.”

The Caloundra-based lawyer and her family moved from Brisbane to the Coast in 2017 to enjoy the benefits the Coast had to offer.

“We wanted to show our child that there is more to life than work, shop, sleep, in between battling traffic congestion. We moved here to teach our daughter the value of an outdoor healthy lifestyle, living together with nature and respecting the environment,” Ms Ellis said.