Bendigo Bunch plays hide and seek with community
For 14 long months, City of Greater Bendigo has shut the people out of knowing what councillors think and say about their extravagant infatuation with the dud GovHub.
Ever since they ignored community opinion and disregarded the need for genuine and fulsome consultation in February 2019 with an in-principle decision to strip the CBD of assets, not one public council meeting has had a GovHub agenda item.
Council documents reveal that the only mention of GovHub has been dot points in records of behind closed door councillor briefings.
Behind closed door settings that unelected CEO Craig Niemann was in on when helping the State Government and local MP Jacinta Allan concoct this unwanted, flawed and clapped out GovHub model for Bendigo.
Mayor O’Rourke bristles with feigned annoyance that the people of Bendigo have the temerity to ask questions – she is even keeping count of the number of letters from individual ratepayers! Even when residents rise to their feet during public question time at council meetings, there is no record in the minutes of any questions being asked. Is that why residents receive non-answers?
So much for openness and transparency on GovHub. What are councillors being told in these little chinwags?
Do they know how much rent council is forking out for temporary accommodation of staff while they prematurely and in defiance of the will of the people decommission the Lyttleton Terrace building?
Do they know how much rent we will forever pay to go from landlord to tenant if GovHub is built?
Do they know why CEO Niemann says GovHub is a good deal for Bendigo when Ballarat will be $1 billion better off?
Any wonder Bendigo people are angry that consultation has not taken place – 14 months of silence from the Bendigo Bunch elected to stand up for the city today and tomorrow.
Council may like playing hidey games, but the people of Bendigo will keep seeking answers!