A doctor of public health who works at the coal face of tackling inequality has announced she will run for council.
Lockwood Ward candidate Jennifer Alden promised to advocate for council to play a stronger role in delivering affordable housing, do more to attract new industries around renewable energy and to protect open space from development if elected.
“I’ve lived in Lockwood ward for the past 20 years and will fight to protect our precious green open space,” Ms Alden said.
“It is an asset that each community deserves – just as we should have facilities within walking distance, so too should we have access to trees and open space for our families and recreation.
“We need to reduce the influence of property developers on council decisions as we are all the poorer for it.”
Ms Alden said her concerns were highlighted in the recent debate on the proposed development of 2.7 hectares of bush and wetlands in High Street, Kangaroo Flat.
“That just showed we need to be very careful in how we go about maintaining livability in Bendigo while, at the same time, moving toward our goal of a compact city,” she said.
“We don’t need to forgo all the public health benefits of living in proximity to green open spaces when there is adequate land available for development.”
The Bendigo Regional Food Alliance chair and Bendigo Foodshare board member said many in the community were “doing it tough” with low incomes and struggling to provide healthy food for their families.
“We can turn that around by council supporting the community, providing job opportunities through attracting new manufacturing, smart housing and other industry to Bendigo, giving our youth a future,” she said.
The former CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee has a record stretching three decades of contributing to the community via committees, working groups and boards.
She ran at the last state election for the Greens and has been endorsed by that party for October’s council election.