Bunch boss throwing councillors under GovHub bus
This time next year, Bendigo will be in the grip of election fever – councillors up for re-election just as the wreckers ball has smashed down the council offices in Lyttleton Terrace.
The CEO Craig Niemann will have already banked the paltry cheque for the sale of land and buildings we had once owned and quickly arranged the EFT of these funds, and perhaps more, straight back to its dud GovHub project partner, the State Government.
As a joint architect of this GovHub model, the CEO will be sitting back in his comfy leather chair relishing the moment he hoodwinked councillors into selling off our city’s assets and taking Bendigo from being landlord and controller of our own destiny to being a rent-paying tenant to a profit-making business owned by government and ultimately some foreign property investor.
But what about the councillors facing angry residents of Bendigo, the crescendo of disgust with yet another council arriving at a new zenith?
Like just about every council since the CEO landed the high-salary plum job in Lyttleton Terrace, he is throwing them under the bus. There’ll be no lifeline for councillors who have blindly jumped in behind his schemes.
Since council amalgamations, we’ve seen trams jump the tracks and sink in Lake Weeroona and the Hargreaves Mall become a growing albatross gobbling up millions of dollars in one dud scheme after another.
On the cusp of the 2020 elections, residents still have fresh in their minds the wasteful antics of council when hellbent on snatching the Carter family farm at Marong.
Remember that most councillors have been turfed at each election since we bade farewell to administrators just over 20 years ago. Some quite good councillors have actually been rejected at the ballot box- why, because the paid servants of this city have form of throwing them under the bus, imposing on them a destination like that ironic British comedy On The Buses of the (election) cemetery gates.
As the CEO drives his out-of-control GovHub Express around town, signing deals before a decision is made by councillors and spending our money, he’s taking no passengers.
I’d hate to be a councillor up for election trying to explain why support was given to a dud deal leaving Bendigo more than $1 billion worse off than neighbouring Ballarat over the next decade and getting at least 500 less new jobs.
The CEO says that’s a great deal for Bendigo and we should be happy.
Guess what Mr Niemann? it’s not and we’re not.