COMMUNITY ALLIANCE WANTS GREATER CONSULTATION
Greater community consultation and canvassing of the best options for Bendigo’s future are the aims of the new Bendigo Alliance ahead of planned council elections in October.
The alliance was announced during Friday night’s virtual town hall meeting protesting council’s lack of transparency and process on the proposed GovHub, still subject to final decisions by council.
More than 800 people have already participated in the virtual meeting either during its streaming or viewing the video. Reactions dramatically contrast with Mayor Margaret O’Rourke’s claims that only a handful of residents had concerns about GovHub.
“Mayor O’Rourke and City of Greater Bendigo have doggedly refused to hold public meetings to gauge the views of residents and ratepayers to a council-State Government partnership that short changes Bendigo and strips the city of locally-owned assets,” said alliance spokesman Max Turner.
“What the council won’t do we will – consult, listen and respond and allow the whole community to be consulted and canvass every option until the best for Bendigo is gained to drive long-term, sustainable local jobs, support local small business and build confidence across every community.
“If council proceeds with an ill-advised and extravagant GovHub, it will be tantamount to economic lunacy and impact on the future independence of Bendigo.”
Max said weekly virtual town hall meetings would continue to be held while coronavirus restrictions were in place with a second online meeting this Saturday 16 May at 11am. “We are already taking questions from concerned residents through our facebook page Bendigo Reacts to Government and website bendigogovhub.com.au that will form part of the agenda at these meetings.
“The Bendigo Alliance will consider support of any candidates in the October election who stand on a platform of putting Bendigo first and ending the extravagant and costly betrayal of our city and independence that the dud GovHub now represents for our independence as a leading regional city.”
“It’s time the community was treated with greater respect and taken into the confidence of an open and transparent new council.”