Name: Effie Ablett
Council: Ballina Shire Council
Number of years in shire/LGA: 5 years
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: Friends of the Koala (life member), EcoMart Northern Rivers Co-op (director), Alstonville and Ballina croquet clubs, Ballina Toastmasters, Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers.
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes
If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?: The Greens
Brief description: I value honesty and getting things done, and am passionate about our local community and local economy. I have managed multimillion-dollar science projects and lobbied for the environment in my spare time.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
Recent council decisions have shown a lack of meaningful community consultation. Ballina Shire Council needs to change so it is in tune with the shire’s future needs, climate change and the residents’ wishes.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
To make Ballina Shire an even better place to live with well-maintained infrastructure and improved amenities for residents, while maintaining the natural beauty of the beaches and the plateau. Build community interactions, food security and local economies, so local communities can prosper through future changes.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
Well-planned development can leave pristine areas and most large trees intact, with little impact on native animals, birds and local residents. The key to this is meaningful consultation with environmental scientists, local residents and wildlife groups at the start of the process.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
Ballina Council needs an independent review to streamline council operations. This will save money for basic infrastructure, community projects and to keep rates low. Footpaths, playground equipment, roads, commuter cycleways, native remnants, street trees, community associations… all need more money spent. Revitalise the Alstonville CBD with markets, local artists, weekend shopping – close off Main St. Prevent CSG drilling in the shire, and inform residents of possible contamination of water supplies.