CITY of Ballarat councillors should not use local government as a stepping stone to further their political career.
This is the message from former premier Steve Bracks, who told The Courier being a member of a political party and being a councillor was not the issue.
“I think you are always going to get people who are involved with political parties standing for local council, there is no issue there,” Mr Bracks said.
“If your focus is on something else much more than the community – if, for example, it is about a political career and much less about the task of serving the community and doing the best you can for Ballarat – that is a problem.
“There seems to be an imbalance in Ballarat of too many people – in this case it seems to be the Liberal side – who see it as a stepping stone for their career.”
Mr Bracks did not single individual councillors out, however currently the council has multiple members of political parties.
Councillor Samantha McIntosh is going through the pre-selection process to become the Liberal Party’s Wendouree candidate for the upcoming election, while former councillor Ben Taylor is seeking, and expected to win, preselection in Buninyong.
Mr Bracks warned all councillors to ensure they were focused on the city rather than the jump to Parliament House.
“My advice would be to concentrate on your current task, do that well, and everything else will fall into place,” he said.
“It is not simply a stepping stone for a career and it should not be seen that way.
“I think that focus and attention on what is good for Ballarat, and the council having that as a high priority, is very important.”