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Retain our independence - Willi Carney

Updated: Mar 30, 2019

Retain our independence

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I recently read about the GovHub.

For those of us with memories going back the last decades I’m seeing/hearing the reinventing of the wheel. Except in a more complex, worrying way.

I have only just become aware of the GovHub concept.

Maybe it has been on the agenda for a while but I have been otherwise preoccupied with a very ill husband and have to admit to not knowing the ins and outs of the concept – but I do know one thing.

Governments change – so do their priorities. Governments are fickle.

Previous policies/decisions are thrown out if an opposing government comes in.

The new government will want to place their own stamp and jettison the previous.

Of course it all sounds so wonderful re cost sharing – but in reality that will not be the way it pans out.

Just take a look at all the buildings built in the last decades for government offices with the promise of newly housed regional offices. Regional staff thrown from pillar to post.

Those new offices relocated and vacated over time and now housing other businesses, often thrown back onto local government to try and find new tenants.

Of course it is essential that as a council they must always work amicably and sensibly with all governments as we have done very well in the past.

Councillors represent ratepayers and that can at times be in conflict with government decisions.

So it’s very important to retain the capacity to remain independent.

Also, does council really want to be involved in future real estate hassles?

The present council building in Lyttleton Terrace is regarded as an architectural example of its time, not many buildings of that period survive in our area.

It was always designed to take an extra two storeys, which was planned, as was extending over the rear carpark.

This would have given council all the space required, and leave a unique building and its site as a special place in local government and for the Bendigo region.

It is still a very viable plan and council should reconsider the plans that were made well over a decade ago.

I will just ask all councillors to remember one thing – you are there for the ratepayers of our municipality and it is highly important to remain independent from government influence.

Willi Carney

Published Bendigo Weekly 8 March 2019

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