Farmer and businessman to contest Bendigo council elections

TWO more candidates have come forward for this year’s City of Greater Bendigo election.

Prominent businessman Mark Weragoda and former real estate agent turned Marong farmer Elise Chapman will nominate for the October election.

Mr Weragoda will run in the Eppalock ward.

Ms Chapman contested the North West Plains ward at the 2008 election.

Mr Weragoda is a former Rotary club president, directory of international service and the current assistant governor for Australia and New Zealand's largest district.

"My passion for continuing community service via election to council is to translate the ideas and suggestions I gain from my daily interaction with clients and community members into a strategic focus for improvement of services and opportunities particularly in the Eppalock Ward, but also to benefit Greater Bendigo,” he said.

Ms Chapman said her new lifestyle as a farmer had freed up her time to serve the community on council.

"I am known around town to have an opinion and a big voice and I am more than happy to represent my ward," she said.

"We need someone that is willing to stand up for people, listen to their problems and give them a voice."

The North West Plains ward will be split between the Lockwood and Whipstick wards at the next election.

Marong will be in the Lockwood ward.

Kevin Gibbons won the North West Plains in the 2008 election with 45.45 per cent of first preference votes.

Ms Chapman finished second with 33.42 per cent, falling 284 votes short after preferences.

Bruce Phillips won the seat in a by-election, which Ms Chapman did not contest, after Mr Gibbins' sudden death.

For in-depth interviews, see tomorrow’s Bendigo Advertiser.

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