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No business plan points to dud sale for dudder deal

No Council GovHub business plan points to a dud council land sale deal and a dudder costly long- term rental deal. We, the residents are being duded whilst the majority of councillors and senior officers cosy up to the state government.

For all council’s pontification and posturing on planning for Bendigo’s future, there are some pretty serious question marks around the guidance provided to Greater Bendigo City councillors for at least a decade.

With increasing daftness and obedience, councillors have descended to become the Bendigo Bunch. They have taken their eye off the ball and meekly accept highly-paid senior council officers’ recommendations without question, particularly regard finance matters.

According to the most recent figures City of Greater Bendigo has more than $50 million in direct loan liabilities, and at least another tied $10 million as guarantor for the Bendigo Stadium. That’s $60 million the Bendigo Bunch does not have available to either independently expand the existing Lyttleton Terrace offices, or construct a new home we, the residents, can call our own. That’s right, our Council lost its independence.

Is this why the Bendigo Bunch is teaming up with the State Government in a dodgy dud deal to hand over our land and buildings without a fight, to then pay top-dollar commercial rent for at least the next 40 years? Are they mad?

Because of the lack of planning for the future over the past 10 or more years council has become totally hamstrung for options to accommodate 400 of its over 1,000 staff employed to serve and service our community.

Perhaps council’s business plan to sell out to government, a plan they are refusing to release despite mounting community criticism, reveals both the absence of visionary leadership arrogance?

Instead, the Bendigo Bunch resorted to an impulsive quick-fix business model like that of fallen TV wheeler-dealer JR in Dallas, who looked for an easy buck and didn’t care one iota if anyone was hurt in the process.

Well Bendigo Bunch, you are damaging to our independence and reputation. Behind the glossy veneer projected by Mayor O’Rourke and the MP Jacinta Allan is betrayal. The residents of our city are hurting and angry because you hide the huge benefits other regional cities gained over Bendigo, we won’t be fooled.

You are all totally inept when it comes to taking the people of Bendigo into your confidence on GovHub. The numbers just don’t add up. It’s a dud cosy deal hatched out of view of the people you are meant to represent.

It’s clear there is no council business plan around the selling of the land; it’s a blinder. There is no explanation why the buildings will be handed over and given no value. The shallow promises of 100 new jobs haven’t materialised, yet council and government actions will be strip 500 government workers from other parts of the CBD and outer suburbs to supposedly prop up the CBD and make the GovHub look good. What happened to Council’s Neighbourhood policy? What happens to the businesses that rely on the 500 workers for cash-flow? Then there is the constantly rising cost of GovHub. Council in its haste has created a CBD parking dilemma as it struggles from thought bubbles to squiggles on a whiteboard. What happened to council’s plans to keep cars out of the CBD and to have people cycling or walking?

What council is doing is wrong, costly, contradictory to its own policies, and not in the best interests of residents,

Sign our petition for release of the council business case and proper community consultation before another dollar is spent on a dodgy dud deal that would make even JR blush.

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