BALLARAT EAST PRESELECTION: Ben Taylor is Liberals' choice

By Andrew Eales
Updated November 2 2012 - 2:14pm, first published June 4 2010 - 3:32pm
CANDIDATE: Ballarat Cr Ben Taylor, who is standing for Ballarat East.
CANDIDATE: Ballarat Cr Ben Taylor, who is standing for Ballarat East.

BALLARAT councillor Ben Taylor has been confirmed as the Liberal Party candidate for Ballarat East.This week the Liberal Party cut short the preselection campaign, electing Mr Taylor at an administrative committee meeting.At the November state election Mr Taylor will attempt to win the seat from 11-year Labor veteran Geoff Howard while continuing to serve as a south ward councillor.Yesterday, Mr Taylor said he would excuse himself from any potential conflicts of interest which could arise at council in the lead-up to the election."I think it's been pretty clear that this council is not party political," he said."I'll be very clear to put my hand up if there is a conflict."Mr Taylor is not the first councillor to stand for a state seat while serving on the council and his stance is supported by the Municipal Association of Victoria, which has published a set of guidelines on the issue.Mr Taylor said he was very humbled to be selected for the position."I really enjoy representing the community (through the council)," he said."I think that Ballarat East has been pretty hard done by in this respect in the past 11 years."He said his track record in advocacy on council _ through issues such as obtaining funding for works on Geelong Rd _ would be transferred to state representation.He said the electorate was diverse, and identified the major challenges around law and order, infrastructure and health service delivery.Mr Taylor was elected to Ballarat council in November 2008 and is employed at Southern Cross Business Machines.Mr Howard said yesterday it was embarrassing that the Liberal Party had struggled to find a suitable candidate to stand in the seat.He said he was focussed on getting on with the work of the government in the electorate.The City of Ballarat did not wish to comment on Mr Taylor's appointment.

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