UPDATE 9.30AM Significant private investment is required to develop a new Gov Hub in Bendigo.
The state government today announced $16 million toward the project, which could cost up to $90 million, according to Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan.
“Bendigo is already a place that attracts a high level of private investment, and we know there's an appetite for more,” she said.
“Bendigo Bank is a great example, a building of a similar size and scale that we can attract private partners to invest in these capital projects.”
The new building, which will replace the City of Greater Bendigo’s main office on Lyttleton Terrace, will house 1000 workers including council staff, public sector workers across various state government departments and will act as a one-stop-shop for people needing state or local government services or advice.
The project will streamline operations for the City of Greater Bendigo, moving all workers under one roof.
The council currently has seven inner-city buildings and some of those sites could be sold off to finance part of the development, mayor Margaret O’Rourke said.
“We’re really thrilled about the announcement,” she said.
While further details of the business plan for the Gov Hub were scant, the state government and the council would enter into long-term leases for the building to attract and underpin private investment.
One hundred new jobs are expected to be created through the Gov Hub.
Ms Allan said a number of the government departments to be located in the new facility will be required to expand their workforce in Bendigo when they recruit.
EARLIER The state government will invest $16 million to support the development of a ‘Gov Hub’ in Bendigo as part of its budget today.
The project will bring 1000 public sector jobs into the heart of central Bendigo, including the creation of 100 new positions, and the increased foot traffic is hoped to revitalise ailing areas of the central business district.
A new building, which will replace the City of Greater Bendigo’s main office on Lyttleton Terrace, will house council staff, public sector workers across various state government departments and will act as a one-stop-shop for people needing state or local government services or advice.
Read more:CBD at heart of Plan Greater Bendigo
Construction of the new Gov Hub will support more than 70 jobs when it starts next year, and will be completed by late 2021.
The City of Greater Bendigo has previously estimated the project could cost up to $100 million. It’s understood the remaining funds will come from a form of public-private partnership.
The Bendigo Advertiser understands the government is open to considering a range of different partnership options with the private sector.
The state government as part of its 2017-18 budget put $1 million toward developing a proposal to “consolidate Victorians public service and council functions and agencies into a new customer service centre”.
Minister for Major Projects and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said it was a “massive boost” for Bendigo, as more jobs and more people in the city would support the CBD.
“We’ve done the planning and now we’ll bring over 1000 employees together under one roof to provide advice and help make our local economy even stronger,” Ms Allan said.
Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards said the Gov Hub was an investment in Bendigo’s future.
“We are giving the Bendigo CBD the boost it needs and ensuring that people continue to want to live, work and raise their families in our beautiful city,” she said.
Be.Bendigo chief executive officer Dennis Bice said the project was “extremely important”.
“Boosting the local economy and creating activity for the city centre and bringing those others departments together completely makes sense,” he said.
Small business would be the “real winner” out of the project, given the increased amount of people expected to frequent central Bendigo.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Bendigo and the region in terms of attracting people to the area,” Mr Bice said.