The Carter family has no plans to pursue the City of Greater Bendigo for compensation following the dramatic end to the Marong Business Park standoff.
The state government last week rejected the council’s plan to forcibly buy a section of the Carters’ farm in the city’s west for an industrial park.
The COGB this week said it had spent almost $2 million in ratepayer cash over 16 years in trying to find suitable land for a business park.
Max Carter said the thought of suing the council had not really crossed his mind and the family was happy the battle was over.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke on Thursday said the council felt it was important to get the costs out there following a number of rumours circulating the community.
A lot of the work was done by council staff in-house, Cr O’Rourke said, suggesting the $1.93 million was the most quantifiable figure.
Cr O’Rourke said the spend equated to $120,000 per year.
“Rumours relating to the costs are fundamentally untrue,” she said.
Cash was spent on legal fees, independent studies and consultant reports, she said.
“This is a modest figure given the amount of work undertaken as part of the project over this time,” Cr O’Rourke said.
The state government’s decision to rezone land in Marong last year played a part in the councillors decision making at the April council meeting, where they voted in favour of compulsory acquisition, she said.
“Quite a lot of that went into our decision (in April). It’s not easy to rezone land. Does it take all of your thoughts? No, however it has been a project that was backed by the state,” she said.
Cr O’Rourke maintained the region needed a business park.
“We have been lucky, haven’t had the losses (manufacturing) like Geelong and Ballarat, but they are knocking on doors,” she said.
Bendigo Manufacturing Group chair Mark Brennan said the move by planning minister Richard Wynne to save a section of the Carter family farm was a “disappointing outcome”, and could affect manufacturing prospects in the region.