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Big blackhole - Jacinta's dud GovHub unfunded

So now we have it … the State Government cannot say how Jacinta Allan’s $100 million dud GovHub will be funded.

A letter under the signature of none other than Chief Executive of Regional Development Victoria, Beth Jones, just received by www.bendigogovhub.com.au makes the startling admission.

Almost 12 months after the gullible and hoodwinked majority of City of Greater Bendigo councillors made the foolhardy in-principle decision to gift our land and buildings in Lyttleton Terrace to the State Government, the biggest question of all cannot be answered.

Government has said there’s $16 million for the project and council is meekly wanting to hand over the most valuable CBD asset we the citizens of Bendigo, no consultation and no release of meaningful information.

And now Ms Jones has told us she is not in a position to comment on the sale (there is no sale yet!) or the funding details.

Where will the extra money come from? Or will it be, as council flagged on its facebook page last year that the residents of Bendigo will be left to foot the bill over a number of years.

It staggering and beyond belief that neither government nor the Bendigo Bunch can reveal, inform is just simply tell us how this project will be funded.

RDV says it is still awaiting the valuation from the Valuer-General before the sale can proceed.

Actually Ms Jones, there are many more steps than just a piece of paper from the VG. Council has to make a firm and final decision first and, in accordance with the Local Government Act, consult and advise the residents of Bendigo of the scheme and allow for comments.

It will be the only time the Bendigo Bunch has acted with respect for the people. Until now, the Bunch and CEO Craig Niemann have been ploughing ahead as though there are no objections, questions or concerns.

Entered into a lease for office space at the half-empty Bendigo Bank headquarters, moved the council customer service centre to begin gutting the Lyttleton Terrace offices and employed a project officer when really Ms Jones, RDV should have employed that person (and paid his wages).

Ms Jones also told us: “Development Victoria will undertake development of the GovHub on the Victorian Government’s behalf. Development Victoria has a strong track record of successfully delivering large-scale urban renewal projects and is responsible for securing the remainder of investment to deliver the building.”

Funny that that Auditor-General last year had tabled in State Parliament a scathing report on the efficiencies and outcomes of these government businesses that will make a likely $25 million profit at our expense on the dud GovHub.

The figures around this whole scheme are rubbery at best. Not only is there still not enough money for a GovHub, of the so-called 100 new government jobs in Bendigo only 55 are confirmed and the blackhole looks to be getting bigger by the day.

And what about parking? Will the residents of Bendigo pick up the tab too for a new carpark?

It now really looks like the better deal for City of Greater Bendigo is to build its own offices and tell Ms Allan and the State Government that their tricks from the monkey box are faulty and deceptive.

So come on councillors, it’s still not too late to save Bendigo from this monumental disaster that will cost of millions of dollars paying commercial rent in a dud GovHub for the next 40 years.

#bendigodeservesbetter




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