GREATER Murray candidate Nicole Stenhouse wants to reinvigorate the smaller towns within Murray River Council.
The 44-year-old Mathoura woman says she is standing for her town, but at the same time for all the other small towns just like it.
‘‘I don’t want Mathoura to become a ghost town,’’ Ms Stenhouse said.
‘‘I want to see more jobs opened up around here.
‘‘I think Mathoura and the smaller towns seem to get lost in the system.
‘‘I’m not sure how we can change that — I will take it one day at a time.’’
One issue she is passionate about is getting the traditional timber industry back to Mathoura, and reversing the government’s decision to convert all the forest areas to a National Park in 2010.
‘‘Why can’t we open the forest again to gain employment and to help build up the town?’’ Ms Stenhouse said.
She also believes the council’s headquarters should remain where it is — in Mathoura.
‘‘I believe in not wasting ratepayers money because we have the shire office here, why move it?’’ Ms Stenhouse said.
‘‘When you’ve got the facility here, why build a new facility when there’s no need to?
‘‘I don’t see the point in moving it because then you have to uproot people’s lives.’’
Ms Stenhouse has owned the Tattersalls Club Hotel in Mathoura for two years. She is from Yarrawonga and moved to Mathoura when she became a publican.
While admitting she does not have experience in Local Government, she does believe there are changes that need to be made.
‘‘I think that a lot of them don’t like change and they need to let go of the past and focus on the present and the future,’’ Ms Stenhouse said.
‘‘Hopefully I bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm. To be honest, I have absolutely no experience with local government or council. I have never done anything like this but I am willing to give it my best shot and do what’s right for the people.’’