A steady hand: Former Warrnambool councillor John Harris has nominated for the October elections because he said the council needed strong confident leadership.

FORMERcouncillor John Harrissays henominated for this October’scouncil elections becauseWarrnambool needs “stability and strong leadership”.

Mr Harris, who served as a councillor for four years before being unsuccessful in the2012 election, said he was concerned about “the negativity that is happening in Warrnambool”.

The negativity on the council “was not doing business confidence a lot of good”, he said.

Mr Harris, who isthe operations manager at Wannon Water, said hisjob allowed him to see the area’s business needs and he wanted to contribute to “a strong council that will take us forward”.

He said the council should also improve on its consultation with the community.

He hoped to establish a counciladvisory committee that would includerepresentatives from Warrnambool suburbs, the CBD,areas surrounding Warrnambool such as Bushfield and Woodford as well as from community sectors such as the arts and the aged.

The committee could meet quarterly and provide input to the council on how it could prioritise council projects, he said.

The state government’s imposition of rate capping meant councils had to sharpentheir prioritisation of projects, he said.

Mr Harris said the projects he hoped to pursue on council were the completion of the $15 million city centre renewal project, the establishment ofa new library and upgradingWarrnambool harbour’sboat launching and retrieval facilities.

He also wantsto improve sport facilities andcreate a new parkand playground in west Warrnambool.

Further goals were to attract federal funding forstage two of the Warrnambool hospital redevelopment and to retain Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus.

He also wants the council to be more inclusive of the diversity in Warrnambool’s population and was keen for more women to be elected to council.

Mr Harris said he had been a board member of Government Skills Australia, of which six out of the 10 board members were women.It had been one of the best boards he had been involved in, he said.

He also wants toaddress drug problems andprovide more support for the arts,including creatinga sculpture park in Ted King Reserveon Simpson Street.

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