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Silent treatment betrays every resident of Bendigo

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

The Bendigo Bunch must be reliving their childhoods as they try to emulate the mute responses of one-time TV star Humphrey B Bear when ducking for cover from the barrage of demands to release the council's business case to sell our land and buildings without consultation.

Shrugging their shoulders in ignorance and contempt, the Bendigo Bunch have no hope of gaining the trust and respect of the good citizens of Bendigo until they come clean and, with fingers fresh from being dipped in Humphrey's honey, firmly pick up their business plan and reveal its contents.

They must come clean and admit to residents how much of ratepayers’ hard-earned dollars have already been spent on the project by council and tell its project partner, the Big Boss State Government to do the same.

They must also begin proper community consultation and find their voices by answering the hard, but must be asked, questions. We're not fooled by last week's panicked email from council saying consultation had started after the concept plans had been released - why, how can you make the biggest decision in decades, perhaps history, to sell our most important asset without consultation before a decision?

It's no good trotting out the script for a children’s show. This debate needs the Bendigo Bunch to belatedly display maturity and a sense of responsibility in representing the best interests of Bendigo today and tomorrow. Be accountable for a change!

As things stand, the rival show playing out before the citizens of Ballarat is a ratings winner. More jobs, no council money in that GovHub and in fact State Government sweeteners to improve parking. And Ballarat council gets to keep its home, its money and its independence.

Here in Bendigo we’re heading to having no home to own, less money and bigger parking woes all because the Bendigo Bunch and the professor of failed mathematics, Jacinta Allan, are content to exhibit their contempt for the people they were elected to represent and betray our city.

They won’t even tell how us why they have rolled over to become a sub-branch of the State Government. What is there to hide? Is the business case, if one even exists, flawed like the GovHub concept itself? Is this why three councilors did not vote to sell the Lyttleton Terrace land and offices, hand the cheque straight back to government and become a high-rent paying tenant in GovHub for generations to come?

Will the rent get jacked up to meet the Government’s 20 per cent profit needed to construct the building? Will a future private owner move to eject the council tenant some years for now like is suddenly happening to the Kangaroo Flat Library that was “gifted” a home at the then Marong Village shopping centre all those years ago.

Download our petition to State Parliament and add your voice to the numbers growing by the day who are saying to the Bendigo Bunch: Stop the betrayal and give the information before you do another thing.

The silent treatment has to stop. And may be the full story might make front page of the local papers!

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