Division 4 candidate Ellen Smith, right, speaks to long-term Gracemere resident Noel Sorensen, who she has known since her school days, on the campaign trail.
Division 4 candidate Ellen Smith, right, speaks to long-term Gracemere resident Noel Sorensen, who she has known since her school days, on the campaign trail. Allan Reinikka

It's early rise for council hopeful

IT'S a busy life on the campaign trail - just ask Ellen Smith.

Ellen has nominated for Division 4 in the upcoming Rockhampton Regional Council elections.

She is one of the 30 people who have put their hands up for one of the 10 divisional positions or mayoral role.

Her decision to run has been a long time in the making.

"I've been working towards this for a couple of years," Ellen said yesterday shortly before heading to Gracemere to talk to locals.

Earlier this year she sold some of the cattle on the farm she runs to fund her campaign.

As well as the $6000 she's budgeted, Ellen is investing a lot of time speaking to members of the community and organising promotional material.

She gets up at 4.30am six days a week, then works from 5.30am to 11am at the Bouldercombe service station before hitting the campaign trail.

Mix into that her second job for 16 hours a week with disability respite care and it's non-stop.

"I'm passionate about this community," Ellen said.

"A lot of local people have encouraged me to stand again."

She said Division 4 covered a big area, incorporating Marmor to the south, Struck Oil, Bouldercombe, Kabra, Stanwell, Gracemere and parts of southern Rockhampton.

Ellen said most people she spoke with were concerned about the cost of living and worried about future rate rises.

She said she wanted work to be done to improve Gracemere's main street, and fully supported the Gracemere Community Voice's push for a high school in the town.

Ellen argues council shouldn't rush into any decisions regarding the development of an industrial estate in the area near the to-be-built overpass west of Gracemere.

 The Bulletin would like to clarify Ellen's first name appeared as Catherine in yesterday's paper. While this is her first name, on the ballot sheet it will read Ellen Smith.

A day in the life of ...Ellen Smith, who wants to be part of the next regional council team

4.30am: Get up

5.30am-11am: Work at the service station

11.30am-1.30pm: Work on the campaign

2-4pm: Work at disability respite care

After 5pm: More campaign work

After 10pm: Bed



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