A former telco boss has announced she will run for local government – and is promising to push council to bring better internet and mobile connection to Bendigo.
Margaret O’Rourke will run as an Eppalock Ward candidate in October’s City of Greater Bendigo elections.
She said a proactive approach to improving Bendigo’s broadband and mobile networks was needed to help bring the city in line with other Victorian regional centres.
“Our local council needs to push a lot harder to make this happen,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“Why spend millions on plans for growth in Marong, Huntly, Junortoun, Strathfieldsaye, Heathcote and Maiden Gully if we don’t share those plans with local telco companies and work alongside them to connect to the rest of the world?
“We need to stop being so passive about our lack of broadband network and council needs to urgently understand that this window of opportunity is a once off.
“The City of Greater Bendigo must lead from the front in terms of connecting Bendigo to the world.”
The former Telstra Countrywide general manager also served as a member of the independent review committee that scrutinised the council’s operations and produced 69 recommendations.
She said her experience with the review and working closely with other councils around Australia gave her a unique insight into what ratepayers want from their council and councillors.
“Bendigo is a great place to live and work, but it’s time to take the next step,” she said.
“We need experienced people to bring stability to the city’s leadership.
“Experience brings a stronger voice. Experience brings a focus on taking Bendigo’s economy into the future, while standing up for the community of today.
“To take Bendigo forward we need experience to lead us to more jobs, better jobs, and growth in the industries that create them.”
Ms O’Rourke is currently the executive director of the Aspire Foundation, which aims to raise funds for a precinct development to sit adjacent to the Sacred Heart Cathedral.