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Bendigo bunch: You can run but not hide

Three councillors had the intellect and the strength not to be sucked in by State Government puppet masters when officers rammed through “in principle” support for the dud GovHub project back in February.

They were far from impressed with the limited information provided in reports presented by a team overseen by CEO Craig Niemann.

Cr Jennifer Alden was emphatic that she would not and could not support the recommendation to sell city-owned land and buildings in Lyttleton Terrace until more information was put on the table.

Near enough to eight months later, there has not been a meeting since that fateful night of betrayal back in February has there has been discussion at a proper council meeting – you know, the ones where we the people actually know and are told what is going in within council and there can be debate on matters.

We can only deduce that Cr Alden is still waiting for that much-needed information. Perhaps in the new order of paid council staff making unilateral declarations, they have deemed her requests for information unreasonable.

In typical council flip-flopping, backflipping and sinking, we cannot erase the very public declaration that the Bendigo Bunch from this moment forward will only answer “reasonable questions” on GovHub, questions they think they can spin their way around with more success than fighting out of a wet paper bag.

Councillors Metcalf and Flack of course went a step further at that February meeting. They voted outright against a scheme that will leave Bendigo more than $1 billion, yes billion with B, worse off than Ballarat over 10 years.

Ballarat is picking up 600 new government jobs for a GovHub on government land and not costing the council there a cent. Bendigo Bunch in selling out and betraying our city is content with losing the city’s home all for a promised 100 extra jobs, being forced to pay rent on the same land and lose a bit more of our independence.

If the Bendigo Bunch was really committed to the future of Bendigo, all councillors would have rejected this dud deal. They would not be ducking for cover and they would realise that they can run but not hide from the hard questions on this dud deal.

It’s a sad day when they ignore the people and the representatives of the people who have questions to ask.

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