A FIRST-TIME candidate for the Bendigo council hopes to lobby for services such as mental health and listen to the community.
Narelle Jayne Byrne is running for the Lockwood Ward in the upcoming local government elections.
Ms Byrne said human rights and social justice, legal opportunities for marginalised, and services for mental health, disability and the elderly were her key platforms.
She said services in Bendigo needed to be greatly improved to keep up with demand on them, particularly for young families and people without housing.
Ms Byrne said she would also advocate for housing, roads and transport.
If elected Ms Byrne said she hoped to speak up for people who couldn't, and put a face to various issues.
Ms Byrne said she hoped to get out into the community, talk to people and find out what they wanted and needed.
She said to strengthen Bendigo's community it was important to dig deeper, look at mental health, stigma and other issues.
"Coming out of COVID a lot of people are going to need a lot of support," Ms Byrne said.
"People who have lost their jobs, the elderly are feeling quite vulnerable. We need to reach out to them, those parts of the community, so we can strengthen the community once again, and support a growing city."
Ms Byrne has lived in the Lockwood Ward for two years. She first moved to Bendigo in 1997, before returning to Melbourne to study, then coming back.
She said since returning to Bendigo she'd noticed great improvements, including in the local hospitality industry.
Ms Byrne said she was passionate about Bendigo, as the town where she planned to live out her days.
Ms Byrne said she was not a member of any political party.
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