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GovHub rent deal beggars belief: Carney

Former Mayor Willie Carney says about GovHub

I have just become aware of “Bendigo Monthly”.

Excellent to know that there is again a second newspaper providing for another voice and the provision for people to express their views.

I note quite a lot of comments re the Govt Hub, which has re assured me of my views previously expressed in the “Bendigo Weekly” last year.

I was in disbelief and angered then, I still am.

Seems our Ratepayers, becoming ever increasingly aware of what the present Council has done, has hit a raw nerve.

Council buildings, largely, were paid for with Ratepayer monies.

This now unique architectural example of late 60’s – early 70’s building in our Municipality is owned by the Ratepayers.

It is Environmental vandalism to knock down something so solid, well serving and having the ability to be enlarged.

To pay ongoing RENT to an auspiced State Government new monolithic modern building just beggars belief.

Local Government should always stand aside from political influence and not be beholden to them in any way. Local Government must always be totally independent from Governments of ANY persuasion.

Independent being the operative word.

When I was on Council (1999-2003) a plan was developed to go upwards for which it WAS DESIGNED, plus two storeys going out the back OVER the carpark. NO loss of car parking. I don’t know what happened to those plans but very obviously the newer Councillors were not aware of those plans.

Though no doubt they know it now.

The newer Councillors have gone into a seemingly revised system whereby they were advised to let the Mayor and CEO respond to correspondence.

Maybe understandable, considering the awful mire that existed a few years ago. However, the ratepayers sorted that at the next election.

A Councilor has the obligation to deal with their Ratepayers themselves. Councillors are elected by the people, the people expect to be able to contact whom they have elected. They have the right to have the expectation of having their correspondence answered to whom it is addressed.

Not by others. To have been advised otherwise is totally undemocratic.

If the Local Government Act has changed to allow that - that is a total enigma of what Local Government was designed for. LOCAL.

This whole project is cloaked in a total lack of accountability and will

ultimately have a major affect on the rates.

A REFERRENDUM must be held so as the ratepayers can have their democratic say and importantly stop the demolition of the Lyttleton Tce unique Council building.

Time to rise up.

* This article first appeared in the Bendigo Monthly April 2020

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