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City of Greater Bendigo and the Andrews State Government have just confirmed that are drivers of a belligerent and out of control bulldozer blinded by their fixation on a dud GovHub for Bendigo.

This week it was announced on the State Government website that expressions of interest for the construction of the second-class crumb of a scheme for Bendigo will open on 28 January.

This is despite the Bendigo Bunch still to make a decision confirming it will sell-out the residents of Bendigo by meekly handing over our land and buildings in Lyttleton Terrace to Premier Andrews and his equally contemptuous current local MP and senior minister Jacinta Allan for the dud GovHub that has as of now a massive funding shortfall of more than $60 million.

Even this week’s Bendigo council meeting contains no agenda item on GovHub for discussion, consideration or determination by the Bunch. The only mention in the first council meeting papers of 2020 is a one-line reference in notes from one of those behind closed doors councillor briefings last year.

But dud GovHub co-architect Craig Niemann and Mayor Margaret O’Rourke, both favourites of Mr Andrews and Ms Allan, have shut down freedom of speech and community engagement and consultation so much that we the residents of Bendigo never know what is said at these little secret powwows.

These deniers of democracy this week even had the temerity to release for public feedback a new council community engagement policy. Seriously, after the way the Bunch have treated residents and ratepayers over GovHub, we cannot take a single word in this new policy with anything more than a grain of salt.

Bitter and salty is the taste these bulldozer drivers are leaving in the mouths of every Bendigo resident who can see through the charade being played out on GovHub.

How can a project proceed when council have not agreed to the terms of sale, know the price of any offer from the State Government for land that council should administer on behalf of the residents and neither government or council can say how much more we the ratepayers have to fork out for such a dud plan.

The government has released its timetable. Can the council now release its timetable on when community consultation on GovHub will finally take place, when there will be community engagement and opportunity to comment on any sale of our land as required under the Local Government Act and when we will see the business case for disposing of city assets? And what about carparking – the same questions - and another multi-million dollar bill for the ratepayers of Bendigo?

And let’s not forget, Bendigo will be $1 billion worse off than Ballarat over the next 10 years.

The Bendigo Bunch can stop trying to imitate the monkey tricks of the State Government and put Bendigo first for a change.

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