BALLARAT businessman Mark Banwell will contest the federal seat of Ballarat at next year's election.Mr Banwell confirmed to The Courier yesterday that he had been pre-selected as the Liberal Party candidate.It is his first attempt to enter politics.Mr Banwell was raised on a farm at Bullarook and attended St Patrick's College before joining the Australian Army.He retired from the army in 1987, before he and his family returned to Ballarat to operate a small business.He currently works as an adviser to a financial publication in Melbourne.Mr Banwell said small business's ability to create jobs in Ballarat was a key issue."Having been a small businessman in Ballarat, I am working now to help the small business sector of Ballarat to grow and prosper," he said.Mr Banwell said health was another key issue and was concerned about the facilities available in Ballarat to treat cancer patients.In response to Mr Banwell's pre-selection, Ballarat MHR Catherine King called on him to support action on climate change and condemn bringing back WorkChoices.Meanwhile, Marcus Ward will be the Victorian Green's lead upper-house candidate for western Victoria for next year's state election.The Kyneton architect is an experienced Greens campaigner who was defeated at the last state election.He has lived and worked throughout western Victoria for the past 30 years."Victorians are crying out for action on climate change, action on water reform and urgent action to help people deal with changes to our local weather patterns," Mr Ward said."I look forward to the coming election year and the opportunity to kick-start the changes that should have begun a decade ago."
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