There is a growing view that Bendigo people should just turn off the lights and pretend nobody’s home.
Decentralisation is the issue of the day, with the federal government trying to work out which government departments, agencies and their staff should be moved out to regional Australia.
It’s a hot topic. But it always has been.
It was an intense debate after the French Revolution. Persian king Darius I was said to be so successful because he centralised his government around 500 BC, while Alexander the Great was said to be successful 200 years later because he decentralised his government.
Decentralisation has been called anarchy, leftist, fascist, magical, populist, unpopular, socialist, capitalist and just about any other word you can think of.
It’s in the news again. A federal government issues paper this week showed rare insight by saying public servants should not be shoved off to the country unless the place they were going to was, well, nice.
It was worried that poor public servants might have to work in “unappealing” regional towns.
This is why DTM suggests today we just sit quietly and not let too many people know that Bendigo is very, very nice.
The City of Greater Bendigo issued a press release last month saying we were “ripe” for decentralisation.
“Between 2011 and 2016, Greater Bendigo’s population grew by 8.4 per cent, meaning the local population has increased by nearly 10,000 people in that time.
Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said council was anticipating a population of 200,000 people by 2050.
‘“Decentralisation isn’t a dirty word, it makes logical sense. As our region grows, Greater Bendigo will need to be able to diversify its employment offerings,” Cr O’Rourke said.
We are expected to have a population of 200,000 by 2050. Melbourne is expected to have eight million.
Most of them will spend their lives on the Monash and Tullamarine Freeways. We, on the other hand, will still expect to get a park at the front door of Myer.