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  • bendigogovhub


Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Secretive GovHub dealings by City of Greater Bendigo have cost residents and ratepayers at least $6 million in the past year, said Bendigo Alliance president Max Turner.

Mr Turner said fears that the costly CBD construction project would be a millstone around the necks of future generations had been confirmed with in a report to councillors for their meeting on Monday night.

“The report clearly shows that Bendigo was dudded out of at least $3 million by the local MPs Jacinta Allen and Maree Edwards and their shambolic Andrews Government buying a city asset at a bargain basement price,” Mr Turner said.

“And since handing to government a building we the ratepayers owned, without consultation, CEO Craig Niemann and councillors have gleefully slugged us with the exorbitant expense of renting office space while the majority of council office staff have worked from home for almost two years.

“In blatant disregard for the citizens of Bendigo, council signed up to a costly rental agreement to go into GovHub. New councillors have finally been told how much that will be: the report to Wednesday’s meeting says at least $3 million a year.

“This is a worse situation that what we predicted last year in calls for public discussion that fell on council’s ever tone-deaf ears.

“As council now admits, this annual cost will be at least $3 million. It will surely keep rising and yet again, Bendigo is the loser.”

Mr Turner said it was now time for CEO Niemann to seriously contemplate his resignation from the role of Bendigo’s highest-paid unelected official.

“There have been too many multi-million dollar stuff-ups during Mr Niemann’s tenure as CEO. Councillors have been dumped in multiple elections but until now, Mr Niemann has avoided adequate scrutiny of his role in the wasteful spending of so much city money,” Mr Turner said.

“If he does not arrive at the conclusion it is time to resign, then councillors need to step up and decide to find a replacement.

“Six million dollars frittered away in a year, tens of millions over more than a decade with the Hargreaves Mall and Carter farm and other fiascos. Enough of the waste, enough of the council secrecy and enough of aiding and abetting local MPs who put their dysfunctional government ahead of the people they were elected to represent.

“The time has come for councillors to reclaim the local agenda.”

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