THE Animal Justice Party has endorsed what's believed to be its first candidate for Bendigo council.
Jackass Flat resident Julie Sloan is running for election in Whipstick ward.
This is her first campaign for council.
The 62-year-old semi-retired nurse said she had always had an interest in politics but had not previously had the capacity to run.
Ms Sloan said she would be campaigning on platforms of sustainable environmental outcomes, promoting community health and wellbeing, and protecting animals and threatened species.
She would also be advocating for accountable community consultation.
"By thinking globally and acting locally I believe that positive change can be achieved that will make a real difference to the lives of animals, environment and people," Ms Sloan said.
She intended to advocate for animals to be given genuine consideration in matters coming before council, including planning and development processes.
Ms Sloan believed there was scope to improve on the city's domestic animal management plan, which was coming up for review in the next term of council.
"Council has a great opportunity to engage in a meaningful way with residents about what we would like to see in that plan," she said.
The Animal Justice Party candidate also wanted to see an increase in rehoming cats and dogs, and a decrease in the number of companion animals that were euthanised.
Speaking to her health and wellbeing platform, Ms Sloan said the COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for council to listen deeply to the needs of the local community.
"That will be a big one for council," she said.
She would also be looking to connect with small businesses, given the challenges the pandemic had presented for them.
"We've got the scope in the next four years for this council to be more creative and innovative with how we approach community engagement," Ms Sloan said.
She also identified resource management and recovery-reuse systems as issues of interest.
Ms Sloan has lived in Bendigo all her life.
She has worked in community health for 16 years and is part of Bendigo's cycling community.
Ms Sloan is also a Rotarian.
Previous involvements include serving on the board of Women's Health Loddon Mallee, participation in the former Eaglehawk Environment Group, and catchment management water testing.
"I'm standing for council because I love where I live," Ms Sloan said.
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