Rick Baberowski to bow out of politics

THREE-term Division 1 Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Rick Baberowski, has announced his retirement from politics.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council councillor called time on his 12 years in politics this afternoon (Nov 30), saying while he was proud of his legacy, it was time to spend more time with his family.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say how immensely proud I am of the people of the Sunshine Coast, and of how strongly they value our remarkable region and the lifestyle choices we offer,” he said.

He added that the region remained at risk of urban sprawl, saying: “We must … remain utterly determined to limit urban development to the capacity of our rural and natural environments.”

“One choice made that I will be proud of for the rest of my life is to have served the people of the Sunshine Coast as Division 1 Councillor and more recently as Deputy Mayor,” he said.  

“It has been my incredible good fortune and privilege to have been able to help make a difference to the people and attributes of our region and I hope the community have seen that I have pushed hard at every possible opportunity,” he said.

“I want to thank the community, my fellow councillors and my extraordinary family for the incredible level of support I have had over my 12 fabulously cram-packed years in office. 

To help us along the way, our region has the good fortune to have built an extremely dedicated and experienced council workforce, CEO and executives, so I also want to thank them for the excellent quality of their work.  

Cr Baberowski also held the Arts portfolio, saying despite being known as the ‘arty councillor’, “politics for me has always been about a pragmatic vision, standards and strategy leading to lots of results on the ground; to that end I’m pleased with the high-quality local parks, community facilities and placemaking projects that have been delivered during my three terms”.  

“Most importantly, I have done my level best to work with the community and staff to lock into the council’s powerful planning scheme, strong zoning and development controls that preserve the rural separation and character of our valuable country towns; that must be the greatest commitment from the next councillor.  

“While preserving our country towns is critical, I have never hesitated to push and support the big region making projects such as our Solar Farm, International Runway, New City Centre, Data Cable and more recently the Maleny Ecological Park and Hinterland Cultural Facility; acting together these radically expand everyone’s life choices across the whole region now and in the future.”

Cr Baberowski also took a shot at state and federal governments, saying they had dropped the ball in investment in transport, housing and the arts.

Edwina McPherson with Cr Rick Baberowski.

“Now, after 12 years in politics and previously, 17 years working in or with local Government, it’s time for me to make different, perhaps more freer choices,” he said.

“I am looking forward to having more time to work with my remarkable partner and family, while also better responding to the radiant energy and welcome demands of grandchildren.”