A FAIR go for the north is the key reason behind Jay Morrison's push for a seat on the City of Ballarat council at next month's elections.
Mr Morrison, a long-time community advocate, director of Frolic Festival and member of the Committee for Ballarat North among others, is determined to give residents in the northern and far western suburbs the voice they have longed for.
"To break it into two words my platform is about fairness and Jobs," Mr Morrison said.
"For me the driving force was my community involvement and my community work. I love Ballarat, it's an amazing place with lots of opportunities, but I think local government has squandered those opportunities and that in turn is letting down the community.
"It is so focused internally, they've forgotten that they need to represent everyone and they are not doing that."
Mr Morrison is no stranger to the inner workings of council having spent much of the past year working alongside the Committee for North Ballarat to try and get some movement on an upgrade to Midlands Reserve in Lydiard Street North.
"I'm proud that just last week we had a win for a masterplan for an upgrade of Midlands Reserve," he said.
"A group of us got together and asked what way we could make a different to Ballarat North. These facilities are under utilisied. It's a water park and playground with no fence on a busy road. We've been consulting and lobbying with community and we've just seen a draft masterplan for the updating of that space.
"Parents have said it was a real issue for them. We've also advocated for a community garden in that space, room for picnics, more tree planting, make it beautiful, will be a game changer for the suburb once it's fully developed and it's something every community deserves.
"Navigating bureaucracy at council on this project has been incredibly difficult, but we've stuck with it and we'll be able to deliver a real positive difference to the community, something to replicate across the whole of the north ward."
Mr Morrison says he is happy that he is a Labor endorsed candidate, but riles at those who have suggested his campaign is backed by the political party.
"Political parties are already involved in local council. The fact is, most people, seven out of our nine current councillors are members of political parties, but as we've seen recently, people hide that fact.
"The reason I ran as Labor endorsed, I want to be open and honest in the community as it points to my values of fairness, looking after working people and building an economy around people.
"I also think there is a miss-understanding about what endorsement means. I am fully funding my own campaign, from that I'm withdrawing from mortgage buffer, relying on donations from family and friends.
"We (Labor candidates) have all been clear we are six individuals running six views. We are clear we won't always vote for the same thing but what we do have is the same values of people first.
"Right now, we need a team to work together over the next term. We can't continue with a secret Liberal majority at war with each other. I'm committed for the next four years to be a local councillor. I care about grassroots democracy."
He said the north had long been forgotten for more high-profile surrounds.
"This obsession with Sturt Street has to stop," he said.
"I speak to people in Miners Rest who don't ever go anywhere near the CBD, yet when we see the council publications, there's no mention of Miners Rest..
"It doesn't matter if you live in Learmonth, Cardigan Village, Lucas, Haddon, Burrumbeet, we deserve to receive the services and infrastructure we need from local council. I think the council's focus right now is a detriment to other areas.
"If I'm elected, I want to work with everyone else to deliver what the north-ward community needs. I want people to take away about me, Jay stands for fairness and jobs and listening to the community and delivering the services."
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