VICKI Coltman firmly believes that lasting change can only be made by working from inside an organisation.
So the business leader is standing for Ballarat City Council’s north ward in the October 27 local government elections.
Ms Coltman said her priorities were road improvements, budgeting, community consultation, accountability and developing a vision for Ballarat.
“I have spent many years watching with frustration as successive councils and council administrations fail to deliver on key promises and projects for this community,” Ms Coltman said.
“I have had many approaches from people encouraging me to stand for council. I believe my business background is a great strength and now is the time for me to take on this challenge.”
Ms Coltman is the executive officer of Lead On Ballarat, a not-for-profit organisation which provides opportunities for local youth.
She is also a director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat and Central Highlands Water.
“I don’t believe you can make important change from outside an organisation; you can only make change from within.
“It’s not good enough to stand back and criticise, you have to become involved, ask questions and then work to make things happen.
“If elected I will take responsibility and be accountable. I will not shy away from hard decisions or asking hard questions.
“I will listen to the community and I will work to make council officers fully accountable. My focus will be on ensuring council operates within budget, delivers projects on time and refocuses on its core responsibilities.”
Ms Coltman said she believed she had the experience, the networks and the community support to be an effective councillor.
“Regional residents and ratepayers in the north ward are often disadvantaged by their isolation, which can lead to lack of access and opportunity.
“They deserve to have services and infrastructure delivered at the same level as people who live in the centre of the city.”
Ms Coltman said Ballarat had a bright future, but had failed to capitalise on its strengths for too long.
“I want my son, my friend’s children and my nieces and nephews, all of our children, to be able to live and work in Ballarat if they want to.
“I want them to aspire to live here, to find the kinds of jobs and the lifestyle they dream of, not settle for second best because they are in a regional city.
“That means council needs to work toward job creation, getting planning and infrastructure right and removing barriers to doing business in Ballarat.”