Wake up: It's time government listened
ALMOST 330 people have signed a petition calling for more information from the state government about the Bendigo GovHub proposal.
Nationals leader Peter Walsh launched the petition in Bendigo in July, about five months after the Bendigo council gave only in-principle support for the project and has since announced associated deals despite no firm decision being made.
He tabled the petition in parliament last week, with promises of more signatures to come.
Council was presented with a number of options in February, ultimately deciding to agree in-principle to the sale of the site of its Lyttleton Terrace offices to make way for a 1000-desk GovHub, in which it would rent offices, unlike Ballarat where the Government is building a GovHub on its own land without any council and creating 500 more jobs in that city than Ballarat.
Mr Walsh said hundreds of people still weren't confident the arrangement would be in their best interests.
"Jacinta Allan's 'nothing to see here' approach is frustrating local who want to know more about the deal between council and the state government," he said.
"Ratepayers deserve to know if this is a good deal for the Bendigo community - details that the Andrews Labor Government would clearly prefer to keep secret."
Asked by the Bendigo Advertiser whether the government would release a business case or any other evidence supporting the deal offered to Bendigo for its GovHub, a government spokesperson reiterated comments regional development minister Jaclyn Symes made upon the petition's launch.
"The GovHub will create new jobs and meaningful career opportunities in Bendigo - attracting more professionals and their families to live, work and invest in one of Victoria's biggest regional cities," the spokesperson said.
"Bringing 100 new public sector jobs and a $131 million contribution to the Bendigo economy, the GovHub will revitalise the city centre and provide better services to residents in the heart of Bendigo."
The Bendigo Advertiser has contacted Ms Allan for comment, but like the Bendigo Bunch, no answers have been forthcoming on a dud, bargain basement GovHub that betrays Bendigo and denies government and council stay silent on their business cases. Poor form indeed.
Download the petition from our website www.bendigogovhub.com.au and join the growing chorus of Bendigo people who know the Bendigo Bunch have been sucked on on a dud deal that will be another costly disaster for our city.