DIVERTING motorists back to Bulahdelah long after it is bypassed is a challenge Kevin Carter is looking to tackle head-on at Great Lakes Council.
Mr Carter, a former community consultant on the $315 million project, has announced he will run for Great Lakes Council and, if elected, will vow to keep the town bustling years after it opens.
"Yes, businesses will go, but I see opportunities," he said.
"There are positives . . . we are still the gateway to the Myall Lakes; we have the [Myall Lakes] national park.
"We have to market the bypass [for good] . . . we have to be smarter about the bypass."
Mr Carter, as part of the campaign he is running, spoke with the Nota about the bypass and other issues he hopes to address at local government level.
"We need to get back to basics in local government that ensures we keep our Great Lakes area in a healthy and beautiful state," he said.
He has promised to give smaller, marginalised communities more clout in the council by fixing up the area's roads and improving access to essential services such as aged care, schools and libraries.
As a former chairman of the Bulahdelah visitor information centre, a president of both the historical society and chamber of commerce and a 43-year veteran of the public service, Mr Carter said his life experiences would bring a fresh outlook to the council.
"I have the passion and energy to make a difference," he said.
Local government elections are being held across the state on September 8.