Corowa businessman Neil Gorham is hoping to be a voice for the younger demographic when he throws his hat in the ring for the upcoming Federation Council elections.
The Ricky D’s co-owner, who was born and bred in Wagga and is a qualified chef, moved to Corowa five years ago with wife Jennifer and purchased the pizza business as a partnership.
Mr Gorham is passionate about community issues and believes it is important for the younger generation to be represented on the new council.
“Three months ago I decided I would stand because there does not seem to be a representation from the younger demographic,” he said.
“I have not heard of many that are willing to step up to the plate and put their nomination in.”
Running the canteen at the Corowa Saleyards for the past three years has presented the opportunity for Mr Gorham to talk with many farmers from the wider community.
“It’s important to hear these issues from the wider community now that (council covers) Urana, Oaklands and right out to Boree Creek and Morundah,” he said.
“It’s a very big shire now and we need people who are open-minded and who are looking at the bigger picture.
“We need to be thinking not just about tomorrow but 15 years down the track about what Federation Council should be.”
Mr Gorham believes there needs to be more mental health access in the community.
“Amaranth do a good job but there needs to be more, there needs to be a place where someone can go in anonymously and just have a chat,” he said.
Others issues Mr Gorham feels strongly about include improved disability services and bringing industry to town.
“We need to entice more industry so the community can grow,” he said.
Mr Gorham has already received feedback on his intention to stand for council.
“People have stopped by and said that it was good to see someone young nominating,” he said.
“It’s someone of a different generation who is nominating as well and that’s probably the big thing.”
Mr Gorham said it was important to get the younger generations involved more and for this reason he has created a hashtag for his campaign - #novote#nofuture.
“It’s known that the younger generation, well statistics show, they just don’t turn up to vote on the day,” he said.
Looking on the bright side, Mr Gorham believes the Federation Council has been left in a “healthy state” for the incoming councillors who will take over after the September 9 elections.
“There have been some negative comments surrounding council, but there has been a lot of good work done behind the scenes that I don’t think a lot of people realise,” he said.