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GovHub backer gets office lease deal

I am encouraged by the proposed development of a Bendigo GovHub, a building in the northern end of the CBD that would be similar in size to The Bendigo Centre.
Marnie Baker, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank managing director - Bendigo Advertiser 23 February 2019

Just days after six Bendigo councillors decided to sell city-owned land and buildings to the State Government for a bargain basement model dud GovHub, the once locally-owned and governed Bendigo (and Adelaide) Bank jumped to the defence of council in the face of community opposition to the flawed and costly plan.

Linking dud GovHub to the bank’s now half-empty monolith in the Bendigo CBD was hardly ringing endorsement for GovHub. It’s not as through business is booming in the Hargreaves Mall or even Bath Lane for that matter – look at the empty shops, a daily struggle for parking and latest news that even more jobs are being made redundant at the Bendigo Bank.

Fast forward to August and the Bendigo Bunch has now announced: “The City will enter into an agreement with the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to lease the upper level of the Fountain Court complex, located on the corner of Pall Mall and Mitchell Street. ”

Had the Bendigo Bunch already commenced discussions back in February with the Bendigo Bank about taking over a ghostly floor at the Bendigo Bank complex? Does that explain the enthusiasm of a bank whose board has lost contact with its roots in Bendigo and is now selling the iconic Sandhurst Trustees building in View St – dispensing with another piece of history that has been part of Bendigo for more than a century?

Just as our community is demanding council and the State Government release their business plans for disposal of resident-owned land and buildings without any community consultation, the pressure is now on the Bendigo Bunch to provide details of their investigations and research into temporary (three years) use of the Bendigo Bank complex.

When did this process begin? Was it before the Bunch voted in-principle to abandon Bendigo with wanton betrayal by selling out independence to the State Government for dud GovHub that will rip jobs out of our suburbs and commit residents to paying top dollar commercial rent for decades to come?

And how much money will the Bendigo Bank receive for the lease that, according to the Bendigo Bunch, includes use of office furniture that has been sitting in vacant offices gathering dust?

Is it any wonder three councillors did not vote for dud GovHub in February. They, too, want answers and before any contracts, leases or agreements are in place.

That’s the way any good business should be run.

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