Hot on the heels of his father's single-term tenure as a councillor, local businessman Ben Fry has announced his candidacy for the Bathurst Regional Council election on September 4.
At 28 years of age, Mr Fry will, at this stage, be the youngest lead candidate to contest the election, after Zac Belmonte, 19, pulled his campaign earlier this year.
Mr Fry will be joined by an equally youthful ticket in marriage celebrant and young mum Kirralee Burke, farmer Charlie Dutton, PhD student Kelly Baker and dentist William Fitzpatrick.
"Bathurst needs fresh blood on council, specifically more representation from youth, women and landholders," he said.
"I also want to give small-to-medium businesses in town a louder voice, as I believe the connection between local business and council can, at times, be strained.
"I'd like to see clearer lines of communication, policies that support business and more consultation with the community, especially around relevant issues such as the Town Centre Master Plan.
For nearly five years, Mr Fry has been a managing partner at BoxGrove Bathurst, one of the town's premier wedding and function venues, and has a vast background in media production, including a former communications role with Bathurst MP Paul Toole.
He said Bathurst has reached a critical moment in its history where today's local policies will have far-reaching effects on the region's future.
"We need a better health system to care for a growing population, and council must be ready to support this proposed medical facility in Howick Street as unconditionally as possible," he said.
"We're a youthful ticket, with an average age of 29, and want this to represent a fresh, collective approach to fostering local tourism, marketing, health services, education, business, arts, culture, sport and agriculture.
"But we can't forget existing issues: water security affects everybody, and we need to start having a serious conversation about how to secure our water supply for a booming population post-COVID."
Mr Fry believes a few fresh faces on council will bring about positive change for Bathurst.
"I believe in good governance in government, and being a Charles Sturt University council member, I'm no stranger to working collaboratively towards beneficial outcomes for a diverse population," he said.
Mr Fry contested the 2017 election as the number five on councillor Warren Aubin's ticket, alongside fellow 2021 candidate Robert 'Stumpy' Taylor.
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