AFTER almost four decades in Melbourne, Mortlake's Kelvin Goodall returned home in search of the sense of community that had been missing amid the rat race.
Now he's hoping to give something back to the community of Mortlake and the wider area by running for a seat on the Moyne Shire Council.
Mr Goodall is the first candidate to throw his hat in the ring for October 27 municipal elections. He said 10 years working as a government-appointed Victorian municipal inspector would hold him in good stead.
"Moyne's not alone in the way it operates but I think I've got a good insight into how councils should operate and how councillors should behave," Mr Goodall said.
"The only way to get things done is to talk to the people. In my work with MCDC (Mortlake Community Development Committee) I get berated because people say 'can you do something about this?' and I say 'go to the council' and they say 'there's no hope with them'.
"The council should be open and transparent and councillors should be accountable."
Secretary of MCDC and president of the Mortlake and District Historical Society, Mr Goodall returned to Mortlake in 2007.
Born in Warrnambool, he was raised in Mortlake and completed his primary and secondary education there.
"What I found (upon returning from Melbourne) was a community facing the challenges of an uncertain future. It now seems inevitable that I became involved with community action."
He said he was aware of the perceived Port Fairy-rest of Moyne divide that many ratepayers held, especially in Mortlake the second biggest centre in the shire.
"I've noticed that perception in the town since I came back that Port Fairy gets everything, Mortlake gets stuff-all.
"But I think half the problem is that everybody doesn't get a lot. It's a race to the bottom. We've got the lowest rates in the area, but we've also got some of worst services in the area.
"We have to strike a balance and that's a hard thing to address.
"What we've got to take into account is whether our rate base is enough to provide the essential services."