Meet Ben Taylor, Liberal candidate for Buninyong

Ben Taylor, Liberal candidate for Buninyong. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE
Ben Taylor, Liberal candidate for Buninyong. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

LIBERAL candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor strongly believes in community.

"I'm passionate about people and making sure we get what we deserve in the electorate," Mr Taylor said.

"I'm passionate about community and being able to work with them and get results and see things happen."

The former Ballarat councillor – narrowly defeated by Geoff Howard in the seat of Ballarat East at the 2010 election – said he initially put his hand up for state politics because he was "disappointed in what I was seeing" during his four-year term on council.

"The council just bypassed the local member and went straight to Melbourne.

"I felt Ballarat East needed better representation."

Mr Taylor said he fought hard during the last election for what was needed in the area and believed he helped achieve great outcomes for the city.

"It's good to see that all the commitments that were made have been delivered."

He pointed to a planned passing rail loop at Rowsley, Geelong Road updates, the Mt Helen fire station and the helipad as examples of projects being realised by the state government.

"The Geelong Road update was hanging over everyone's head and it's finally been delivered."

Mr Taylor said it was also vital Buninyong had good candidates but said he wasn't thinking about the narrow 1.5 per cent margin from the last election.

"Every election is different. I want to focus, not on what the margin is, but what we need in the community.

"I want to look at a jobs focus, roads and core infrastructure, bringing industry into the town.

"I want the right infrastructure around roads and to make sure we can protect the environment here."

Mr Taylor said education was also important, pointing to Phoenix P-12 College improvements as an example of a "great facility".

"For me, it doesn't make any difference if the candidate is not in government.

"I'll be fighting for the community across the electorate."

Ben Taylor answers our 10 questions

How should we make our community safer?

It's really important that everybody actually has a role in safety. I know all the highlight has been put on police and governments to make us safer, but I also think from personal level we need to make it safe in our communities, we actually (get to) know our neighbours, we actually talk to our neighbours and we actually understand where they are at as well, so we can help them out.

But again, yes that is important but we need to look how we can be more visible with police that are out there and PSOs have been really important around that railway precinct.

Should Civic Hall be restored or demolished?

I think there is an opportunity to keep parts of the Civic Hall and restore it. It's such a big site and with the opportunity, if elected, that 400 jobs will come from VicRoads onto that site, it is the opportunity to keep part of that hall and utilise it for community use. It really comes down to what council has set as a plan but my preference would be to keep some of the hall to be used for the community and to build around it.

What action should be taken on climate change?

I think action should take place from every level, whether it's from government or from a personal level. I know myself, I educate my kids about doing the right things in relation to recycling and having veggie gardens, utilising that and also having water tanks.

I think we should take personal responsibility and make a difference on climate change in our environment but we should also do things from a state level and look at renewable resources as well.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal?

For me I haven't really thought or talked too much about that issue. In my environment I look at where I live with my kids and what affects me, for other people it affects them as well. Should it be legal? I am not really stressed too much about it.

Do you think abortion should be legal and available to all women?

At this stage there is a big debate on abortion in Victoria, I think on some things there is concern around care and where or when is it a baby, and when it is a foetus?

I think the abortion laws in Victoria, they are pretty strong... could they be changed? I really am not too sure what those details are, but in this day and age abortion is in place. It is never going to go back to no abortion but the question then is what is a good balance between that foetus and baby – when is it a baby and when is it a foetus?

What is the biggest infrastructure priority for Ballarat?

For me it is about jobs, and the creation of jobs. The Ballarat West Employment Zone has just been put in the budget to start delivering on that. We need to still make sure we have the environment to create other opportunities.

Whether it is infrastructure or whether that is just an opportunity, and that is 400 new jobs through VicRoads coming to Ballarat. That is going to make a big difference to the city in that we are going to have 400 new people in the CBD area who are going to be shopping, who are going to be walking around and buying cups of coffee and it will make a difference to those empty shops and we should have new shops that will start to come into that area.

Should tomato sauce be free with a meat pie?

No, you should pay for it because some people want it and some people don't. Sometimes I don't like tomato sauce with my meat pie.

The Beatles or Rolling Stones?

The Beatles.

What's your favourite TV show?

I don't really have one. I have got four kids, I work pretty hard. When I sit down at home, it's a matter of trying to relax for those couple of moments before I fall asleep whether in bed or on the couch.

At the moment my daughter is recording The Voice and I have been fast-forwarding to the bits where they sing and I don't listen to the other junk.

What's your favourite meal?

Roast lamb with veggies, that is my favourite on a Sunday afternoon, it is beautiful.