A BELIEF that local governance has lost its way is the main motivation for Romsey resident Geoff Neil, who will stand in for Macedon council elections.
Mr Neil grew up in Melbourne and moved to Romsey in 1977 where he started work in the Macedon Ranges a year later.
After starting his own family, Mr Neil became involved in local governance in 1986, for three reasons that were of importance to him.
“There was a lack of play equipment around the town. It needed a footpath between the estate where we lived and Main Street, and there was a lack of kindergarten facilities,” he said.
“They were my concerns as a parent, and as usual the time it took to complete these tasks [meant] my kids were about to go to high school.
“That’s where it started for me – giving back to the community. Since then there have been many community groups and projects.”
Mr Neil said his interest in running for council was to close the ‘widening gap’ between government, and the people they were ‘serving’.
“I am running for council because of my belief that local governance has lost its way,” he said.
“It is becoming disconnected from the community it is supposed to serve. Becoming very corporatized with minimal communication.
“Not supportive of local businesses and trades, a budget of percentages and not dollars. I want to reconnect. Local governance is supposed to be the area of government closest to the people but all that I see is a widening gap.
“What plan have we got when COVID-19 is over? The silence is deafening.”
Mr Neil said his previous work experience meant he had the qualities needed to be a councillor.
“I must have [leadership qualities] given my work environment. I have previously been a shire president and mayor. I believe I did that well,” he said.
“I think you need to talk to people to find out exactly what the issue is then address it.”