Coffee to council: Race brews with candidate announcement

HAVING spent the past several years serving the community within the business world, Kelly Woods is looking at a new way to help on a larger scale.

Her solution; to join the council.

Owner of Coffee at Kellys, Ms Woods will be running for Division 6, which is currently held by Cr Scott Rowleson.

Cr Rowleson has announced he will step aside at the next election.

She said it wasn’t until opening her third cafe in Burnett Heads that the prospects of running dawned on her.

“I’ve been there for five weeks now and the first two weeks the Burnett Heads community welcomed me, and were so happy that I opened a cafe out there,” she said.

“They started telling me about their problems and how they feel like maybe they’re a forgotten community and I’m like ‘how can I help these people?’.

Describing herself as a people-person, Ms Woods said she listened to people and wanted to be able to help them solve problems and grow the community.

“I always seek solutions, there’s a solution to every problem and I won’t shy away from a challenge,” she said.

“Being a woman in business I’ve definitely learnt to stand up for myself and that’s why I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions and stand up for the Division 6 community.”

Ms Woods said she had the support of her staff in her push for councillor and was confident that her businesses would run without her.

She said her main priority would be her role as councillor, should she be successful.

“I am very passionate about our region and the community and what it has to offer,” she said.

“I am a positive person with an outlook of how to make things better.

“That’s why I like to see growth and continue to grow my business to create more jobs in the region.”

Living in Bundaberg for the past decade and growing her business throughout the past several years, she said a role on the Bundaberg Regional Council team would give her an opportunity to help on a broader spectrum.

Ms Woods said she would like to continue the work Cr Rowleson had done on Three Chain Rd and see a nature walk on the Hummock.

“No part of Division 6 will be left behind,” she said.

She said while there were some people hesitant with change, she had heard more positive excitement around projects like the main street redevelopment, the marina and the RV park that was going in.

Ms Woods said she was putting her hand up to help the Division 6 constituents.

“I think more women in politics, in Bundaberg, that’s what we need,” she said.

“It would be great to see more women on the local council next election.

The Bundaberg Regional Council election will be held in March.