AVOID TRAIN WRECK – VOTE TO NO GOVHUB
The Bendigo Alliance is disappointed that misguided commentary has been provided to respected media outlets ahead of City of Greater Bendigo’s decision tomorrow night on GovHub
Don Erskine today on regional radio claimed that council’s Lyttleton Terrace site will remain in “public ownership”. WRONG: The State Government has already announced it intends to sell any Bendigo GovHub building to private investors and rake in a profit of up to 25 per cent.
There will be a lot of new Government jobs, especially Government jobs, claimed Mr Erskine. WRONG: Only 55 new jobs have been confirmed. Hundreds will in fact be sucked into the CBD from existing government offices in Epsom and East Bendigo. Hundreds more are already in the CBD.
There will be efficiencies and savings, he said. WRONG: No evidence produced or cited by Mr Erskine.
Asked how much rent council will be paying, he said: “These figures have not been released”. However, Mr Erskine's quoted six per cent commercial return per annum which is consistent with the two independent rent review documents received by the Bendigo Alliance and released to the media.
While Mr Erskine prefers renting over council building its own new offices at cost of $41 million, if council proceeds with GovHub, an amount far greater than $80 million will be fritted away on in rent to be a in the dud GovHub building with a price tag of $90 million. And at the end, no home and no land.
And he claims GovHub will rejuvenate the CBD. We remember the same spin when Bendigo Bank announced it would build a new four-storey headquarters … and we know how well that has gone for struggling businesses in the CBD (or the ones still open).
Mr Erskine admitted GovHub had only been an idea for about two years. That completely blows the claims of Mayor Margaret O’Rourke and her elected and unelected allies that the GovHub proposal has been around for six or seven years.
Councillors in all conscience can only vote tomorrow night to avoid a GovHub train wreck.