DAVID Owen wants to ensure every resident in Warrnambool has accommodation, food and a decent quality of life.
He is the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for the Warrnambool City Council election.
“No one in Warrnambool should be living in extreme poverty and homelessness,” he said.
“I believe it is possible to help every family and resident in Warrnambool to have secure accommodation, good food to eat and a decent quality of life.
“I will fight for measures to increase employment opportunities through support and promotion of local produce, business, industry and, in particular, small businesses in the CBD and beyond.”
Mr Owen and his wife Lisa opened Kodak Express in Warrnambool 30 years ago.
He manages five Lifeline stores across the south-west.
“The high rate of suicide and mental health issues in our community is simply unacceptable,” he said.
“If we are to overcome these problems, council must step up and take an overarching role in collaboration with Lifeline and other community groups, schools, families, health professionals and all levels of government, to design and instigate an inclusive plan of action with demonstrable outcomes.”
He said the health and education of young people must be improved to create a brighter future for all.
“To safeguard their much needed place in our community, we must develop partnerships with educational organisations such as Deakin University, SEAL and South West TAFE,” he said.
Mr Owen said council waste services could be improved, and he also wanted to attract more health professionals to the city.
He said it was possible for businesses to thrive while being environmentally sustainable, but council must lead the way.
“I’ll support measures that will reduce single plastic use and for Warrnambool to become plastic bag free,” he said.
Mr Owen is the club captain and a life member of the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club. He is also a committee member for arts organisation the F Project.
“I will take business experience, professionalism, accountability, a solid work ethic, strong networks, environmental awareness and 34 years of local knowledge to my role (if elected),” Mr Owen said.