EVERY four years a new council is sworn in with the promise of better times ahead, but as we've seen in recent months, great planning does not necessarily always come to fruition.
But one constant in all the highs and lows of the council over the last couple of decades has been the face of long-serving south ward councillor Des Hudson.
For 18 years, Councillor Hudson has been the face, the ears and the eyes, of Ballarat's southern suburbs.
"I still have an immense amount of passion and enthusiasm for the role of councillor," Cr Hudson said
"You're setting a vision of 10-15 years, which might take a couple of four-year terms to implement, but it's very rewarding when you see that come to fruition."
Cr Hudson said it was council's role to be a conduit for the community.
"My work has been a lot different to my normal police role in recent months. Mental health has been an eye-opener by the sheer volumes of issues we have seen," he said.
"We need to make sure we have that protective layer around the community. It's about access to services and not necessarily that are all developed by council.
"One of the roles council can play is to lobby for services. We can play a role in connecting the dots. There's always room for more improvement because there's always a risk of people falling through the cracks.
"We have to deliver our capital projects, promote local suppliers, local contractors, invest into the community.
"Any business who wants to tender for a job should be able to tender, we shouldn't be excluding people from being involved in a tender process.
"We need to encourage everyone to participate, particularly if they are local."
With almost two decades of council experience, Cr Hudson says he knows what it takes to work as a team.
"It's about how you can debate the issue and have it not become personal," he said.
"When a decision is made, you get on and sell the message as a cohesive group. I think to that degree this last council hasn't been as effective as it could has been.
"You don't want nine people thinking and rubber-stamping the same way, there are always going to be differing opinions."
On the question of party politics in local council, Cr Hudson, a Labor-endorsed candidate, said it was about transparency and giving the voter all the information they need to make a decision.
"There are myths around that the 'party machine' is funding the campaign, it's not. The cost of the campaign is down to individuals," he said.
Cr Hudson said he was keen to see continued investment in sporting infrastructure "I wish I was 35 years younger looking at the facilities we have now".
He also believes Ballarat has the potential to be a national leader in waste to energy and resource recovery.
He added that every member of our community deserves a fair go.
"Be respectful of cultures, communities, preferences of people. We all come into the world the same way," he said.
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