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New dragon gobbles up article?

Without fear or favour … the free press … stimulating community discussion for the best outcome for Bendigo.

That’s why we’re highlighting council’s dud GovHub deal selling out independence to the State Government, losing an asset, demolishing an iconic building and paying top dollar rent for decades.

This is an article we submitted to Bendigo Weekly … perhaps with all the Easter celebrations it was gobbled up by Dai Gum Loong at the Alexandra Fountain on Easter Sunday:

Sad that Mayor Marg O'Rourke stooped to whitewash tactics in an appalling effort to dodge public

accountability on council selling prime city real estate to the State Government for its bad-deal

GovHub ('No Govhub battle' (29/3) response to our 'A big thank you' letter (22/3).

The mayor knew we were expressing appreciation for public support received for our efforts to

untangle Council's cloudy governance and administrative involvement in selling the Lyttleton

Terrace Council Chambers site and becoming a full-fee paying tenant in a 1,000 desk GovHub,

and the possible burdens of that on residents.

Rather than address issues the mayor, without examples, wrongly claimed our statements were

disrespectful, antagonistic and "filled with personal attacks". Decide for yourselves, read our

advertising: 8th and 15th March, pages 6 and 8.

It is the right of every Bendigonian to draw conclusions from available council and government

information. We believe in strong verifiable reasoned debate, not cherry-picked claimed and

sham hurt feelings.

We have always said we are not against the concept of a GovHub for State Government

employees, but we are against secrecy and misinformation. We don't have the luxury of

council's $1million media budget, or officer assistance, only our own time and money. So ours is

a necessary "battle" to access council information, seek accountability, and inform the public.

Council's continual failure to consult with the community about GovHub is most troubling.

We wrote to Councillors to conduct a public meeting to explain their selling Council

Chambers and becoming GovHub tenants. Residents deserve a full account. Ignoring the

Independent Review recommendation they refused. No April Fools' Day joke, but an

arrogant shutdown of debate and disrespect for residents.

We strongly believe Council has not achieved the best outcome and makes light of Ballarat's $1

billion better deal. Bendigo must not be treated as fools by this council or government.

Our efforts continue. For on-going information, and to have your say, go to our website

Max Turner and Lindsay Sargeant

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