Bunch boss in the thick of GovHub decisions
Bendigo council keeps handballing questions on the dud GovHub project to the State Government … but the facts tell a very different story and Bendigo Bunch has been left with nowhere to hide.
A few months back we revealed Bunch CEO Craig Niemann was a co-architect of the concept, sitting in a Spring Street backroom with fellow hand-picked government friends drawing up the GovHub scheme.
And when the government run out of cheques after fully funding GovHubs in La Trobe Valley and Ballarat, Craig betrayed Bendigo by quickly signing up council to hand over our valuable CBD land and money and have Bendigo ratepayers help fund the local version.
Why, council has even admitted there looks like being a financial blackhole of many millions of dollars that ratepayers will have to fill. Were councilors told that back in February when they voted 6-3 to blindly give in-principle support?
But as they say in the classics, there’s more.
We’ve uncovered an October 2018 letter from Bendigo’s forever mayor Margaret O’Rourke that makes it clear Mr Niemann is still at the centre of the dud GovHub.
She confirmed that the CEO is actually a member of the Project Control Group for GovHub in Bendigo and offered to arrange a meeting for concerned residents with Mr Niemann.
Now we all know Mr Niemann has spent the past year ducking community engagement, preferring to trot out fairy floss and toffee apple platitudes of a beguiling nature in promoting a bad deal for Bendigo,
He keeps saying he is happy. Talk about an emu bob gone wrong with the head perpetually stuck on the sand and the people of our city being ignored.
Whether partners or junior operatives, Bendigo Bunch seems to be only interested in doing the government’s bidding. The silent majority partner in all this so far is the person elected to represent not betray Bendigo in State Parliament, Jacinta Allan.
But then perhaps this project really should be known as Jacinta’s GovHub where all her loyal disciples will be accommodated.
There are too many flaws and contradictions between council and government for GovHub to pass the sniff test.