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Consultation abandoned to sign dud deal

Greater Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann claims council has done a “lot of work in consulting” before its decision to sell prime CBD real estate in Lyttleton Terrace to the State Government and forever become a tenant in a dud GovHub.

So the team here at Bendigo GovHub is on a quest to find out exactly how and who council consulted before choosing to allow Bendigo to be forced into the status of Melbourne’s branch office of the State Government.

  • Were you invited to complete an online survey about GovHub?

  • Were you invited to a warm and fuzzy focus group to discuss GovHub plans?

  • How can council expect residents to have made submissions on the proposal when only scant details were shared with them at the 11th hour?

  • Why is council dodging quality engagement and consultation with residents on GovHub?

  • The CEO also claims that public meetings are no longer the best way to consult with the residents of Bendigo … the ratepayers who hand over thousands of dollars every February to keep council afloat.

Let’s be consistent here! The dud dead for GovHub in Bendigo compared to the lavish sweetener for Ballarat GovHub that will have Bendigo $1 billion worse off than Ballarat over the next 10 years is hardly a great deal.

The CEO says Bendigo’s got a “great deal” with 100 new jobs but on his own figures, Bendigo’s economic benefit is a mere splash in Lake Weeroona compared to Ballarat.

And he says council will keep chatting to government for opportunities to grow and develop. Mmm still no detail, no commitments and Bendigo is left with less assets and new bills.

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