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Missing in action: where’s the Mayor?

Missing in action: where’s the Mayor?

Just over a week ago, Jacinta Allan and her Bendigo parliamentary sidekick Maree Edwards pop up in front of TV cameras outside the Lyttleton Terrace municipal offices, land and building owned by the residents of Bendigo and administered in trust by councilors.

There they were with Cheshire cat smiles and a dictionary of empty words saying GovHub was happening. No mention of council still needing to make final and firm decisions to sell the land, not a word about who is going to meet the council-admitted shortfall in funding the project.

Maree Edwards, who spent years working in the office of Bob Cameron before his sudden departure from politics and looming defeat weeks out from the 2010 election, even had the temerity to say there had been community consultation on dud GovHub. Rubbish ... utter rubbish.

Like her counterpart, Maree knows full well there was no community consultation about Jacinta’s GovHub. If Maree had said that in Parliament she would have stood accused of misleading the House.

Joining the Cheshire cat chorus at that wool-over-eyes media stunt was Bendigo Bunch chief servant Craig Niemann, the co-architect of the GovHub concept and the man who recommended that Bendigo foot part of the bill when other GovHubs are being fully funded by government.

Talk about conflict of interest. There was the CEO doing the bidding of government not the city that employs him to look after our future.

But missing from the line-up was none other than the mayor who just won’t give anyone else a go wearing the robes and chain, Margaret O’Rourke.

How amazing that at a Labor Government announcement pushing Bendigo closer to losing a prime CBD asset with the consent of a majority of the Bendigo Bunch, there was no mayor.

Instead, the embattled Margaret has been busy posting fluffy sugar-coated content to her facebook page, her eyes firmly fixed on council elections now less than a year away. Surely she is not coveting the mayoral chair for another four years? Heaven forbid.

She is certainly failing to stand up for Bendigo and be seen at any announcement that might attract negative attention. Although  the Bendigo Advertiser seems content to just publish the official media releases from government and council without question or scrutiny.

So Margaret, have your divested more authority to the Chief Executive Officer? Or have you simply given up on providing good representation for the people of Bendigo, copying the example of your idols who sit in the Parliament?

There’s a simple message for you: stand up for Bendigo and start demanding a better deal instead of being puppet of Spring Street.

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