It’s now up to the Ballarat community to vote for our next Council. Do we want more of the same?
My dream is for a new Council, made up of intelligent, committed people, who aspire to making the City of Ballarat a leader on the world stage for a host of reasons including: liveability, with a primary focus on providing for local needs and supporting community interests and initiative; innovative town planning; inspiring commercial planning and housing designs that incorporate environmental sustainability elements that are relevant and future proof; impressive streetscapes and a managed rolling economy; a community that is encouraged to evolve; a community that actively promotes involvement in community life: the arts, recreation, education, social life.
My dream Councillor has no personal agendas or associations. Those current candidates with special interests or associations would be best served using their skills and knowledge, in advising, lobbying and engaging council from the community platform.
My dream Council embraces and encourages community consultation and involvement. It is able to make the call and implement strategies. It does not pander to developers and investors at the expense of good planning design and community consultation. It recognises Ballarat’s heritage while embracing innovative future planning that in years to come will compliment and give added value to the City of Ballarat.
My dream Council works as a cohesive team with local organisations to effectively lobby’s for funding from other bodies for infrastructure including transport and industry. My dream council encourages and supports local business initiative. My dream Council actively responds to social issues.
My dream Council has the ability to work effectively with the Community and Council officers, has the intelligence and skills to understand manage the complexities of leading the Council juggernaut and is able to place us positively on the world stage for all the above reasons.
Chris Clark, Golden Point
I believe the youth of Ballarat have become disengaged and disenfranchised. An attitude exists between many younger folk who are chomping at the bit to leave Ballarat ASAP to seek a perceived more exciting and profitable future in Melbourne.
If this problem isn't addressed then Ballarat will be left with an ageing population and no fresh blood to support and grow our city. Many issues need to be addressed in order to retain more youth; council must lobby the state government for more frequent and faster train services to Melbourne and additional rail connections to the developing suburbs of Lucas and Delacombe.
The mistreatment of young workers who are being underemployed and underpaid by many unscrupulous employers. The rising crime rates and devastating scourge of drugs such as ice. Increasing mental health services (more young lives are lost to suicide than to road fatalities). Partnerships with educational institutions to prepare them for the transition from study to employment with skills that will make them stand out in a job interview. Working towards a zero emission future and improving public transport through cycling infrastructure and encouraging emerging technologies like Uber.
These are all issues of great importance to the youth of Ballarat. The incoming council should have a representative from the next generation as they best understand the importance of planning for the future. A councils' failure to plan for the future, plans to fail.
Will Bennett, Central Ward Candidate
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