SOVEREIGN Hill education officer Alice Barnes will stand as the Greens candidate in Wendouree in the November state elections.
Ms Barnes said on Monday the Greens’ environment, education and healthcare policies promoted the kind of Ballarat she wanted to live in for the next 50 years.
She said she also had been taught from a young age that contributing positively to the community was her civic duty.
“I think Ballarat is a fantastic place. We have so many things to be proud of: our friendly neighbourhoods, tourist attractions, green spaces, educational institutions and, of course, our heritage,” Ms Barnes said.
“We have always been one of the most historically and economically important cities in Australia, but, without a long-term vision for our community, we are risking all we have achieved so far.”
Ms Barnes, 30, returned to Ballarat after several years teaching overseas, but said she always stayed closely connected to local events, particularly through her father, former Ballarat mayor John Barnes.
“My main motivation in standing was that I was frustrated with politicians at every level not doing enough about climate change, and I felt the Greens were the best placed to deal with it. I also want to be part of the chorus against the refugee atrocities.
“The Greens are the only people who really care about what’s going on with people and I want to give Ballarat people a viable option.”
Ms Barnes said job creation was one of the biggest issues facing the Wendouree electorate.
“We need to be planning now for the next 50 years.”
She said she was also concerned about infrastructure funding and new schools to cope with the expected population influx.
“We also need to improve public transport which will revitalise the CBD, increase jobs, raise money spent locally and help lower greenhouse emissions.”
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said Ms Barnes was a real asset to the community.
“Support for the Greens here is growing by the day, and a local like her, with strong social justice and environmental sustainability principles, would be a great representative for the people of Ballarat in state parliament,” Mr Barber said.