Looking for answers
Council’s involvement in the government’s proposed GovHub is a muddle for residents. Confusing is an understatement.
Government websites show it intends to construct a new $90 million Government office by 2022. A GovHub, to house 1000 employees - including 650 EFT council staff - on the site of the current City of Greater Bendigo main office in Lyttleton Terrace. It all seems done and dusted. What will it cost council in capital and rent?
What is going on? The previous council never voted to support council office consolidation. The land and buildings the governments grabbing are owned by all Greater Bendigo residents; not the council officers, and not the politicians. As councillors, our representatives, you appear silent and compliant. One way or the other, residents will pay for others’ ambitions. Increased rates or dropped projects?
What happened to the values respect, respond, learn and care you councillors agreed would guide you to be the best for all of our community. Respected residents are not kept in the dark. Council’s own website tells us nothing about what’s happening.
Residents need to have access to the source information to understand what is going on and to participate.
Swimming through a number of council documents and government websites are statements that show council or its officers have for some time been moving forward on the GovHub without any open council meeting debate or verifiable supportive research.
Sometime before July 2016 council wrote to the government advising it would be willing to participate in a feasibility study, yet there is no Council Minute authorising such action.
Given the above, we ask:
When were Councillors and senior Council officers briefed by government officers or parliamentarians that the GovHub would be constructed on the site of the council’s main office in Lyttleton Terrace, and what documents were provided?
On what page of Council’s 2017-21 Community Plan is the GovHub identified?
When were officers’ reports presented to councillors supporting a GovHub, and how can residents access those reports?
At what meetings did you as councillors debate and make any decisions about a GovHub?
When was a GovHub feasibility study presented to councillors at a council meeting, debated, and a decision made?
When was a GovHub business case presented to councillors at a council meeting, debated, and a decision made?
When was a GovHub concept plan presented to councillors at a council meeting, debated, and a decision made?
The Ballarat GovHub is proof the state government can push ahead without council and staff relocating, constructed on Crown Land, basically independent of council. Six hundred new jobs for Ballarat and no future debt for ratepayers. Council supports decentralising government agencies, so in a hi-tech world should consider decentralising council units to towns and suburbs to support your 10- minute neighbourhood strategy. Clarity is needed. Only when information is publicly accessible and councillors engage with the community can there be robust community analysis, constructive engagement, and fresh ideas offered around what steps council can take on behalf of the city’s residents.
Max Turner, Bendigo and Lindsay Sargeant, Huntly
Stick to the issue
I think a ring road for Bendigo is a necessity, but it should be a purpose built highway and not a rehash of existing roads.
I accept that this is a difficult project, but it won’t be easier with the passage of time.
That’s why it was especially disappointing for my local MP Jacinta Allan to play the man, in this case candidate Ian Ellis.
You would think that a minister with all the resources of her department could offer an idea of her own. Nope. Nothing.
The comment that the bypass is an “unplanned, unfunded thought bubble” is more a reflection on the minister’s inactivity than the failings of anyone else.
At least we won’t have to hear about this on Sky while waiting at Southern Cross.
John Holdsworth, Sandhurst East
READ MORE: Liberal candidate promotes Bendigo ring road
Seeking family names
The Anglican Parish of Kangaroo Flat is seeking the names of families who may be descendants of parishioners of St. Stephen’s Lockwood since its construction in 1860. The church was de-commissioned in 1998 and sold to the Education Department to be part of Lockwood primary school. The chapel of the new St. Mary’s Anglican church in Kangaroo Flat will be named The St. Stephen’s Chapel at a service at 9am on Sunday October 21st, to honor the Anglican Christian pioneers of Lockwood. The Rector of St. Mary’s – the Reverend Tracey Wolsey – hopes memorabilia from the former St. Stephen’s and representatives of the families who worshipped there can be included in the special service on October 21st. Anyone who can help in this regard or who wishes to attend is invited to contact Tracey at the Anglican Parish of Kangaroo Flat on 03-54477427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graeme Turpie, on behalf of St Mary’s
Calling out duck shooters
In response to “Duck Hunting Has Benefits” by Jack Wegman from the Sporting Shooting Association. I am just going to cover two of the many claims being made by Mr Wegman. He writes “hunters want to put fresh free range organic food on their families table”. I have to call this out, as after each day of shooting literally hundreds of dead or dying birds are left to rot in the swamp, hardly fit for the family table. We have all seen the images, so please do not tell us this and expect us to swallow it, we are not fools. The second point I would like to make is Mr Wegman’s statement that they the shooters are “subjected to aggressive campaigns by agenda-driven eco-fascists such as Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting”. Let’s have a look at where the aggression lies, who has the guns and who is killing Australia’s beautiful wildlife? And as for labelling people who care about the lives of these beautiful birds as being “fascists”, what a preposterous insult. Mr Wegman, those who oppose duck shooting are mums and dads, sons and daughters, just everyday folk who are sickened by the antics of shooters who label the killing of innocent wildlife as a sport. Mr Wegman, society has reached a tipping point with the irreversible development being that the antics of shooters have lost favour.
Glynn Jarrett, Animal Justice Party Upper House Candidate - Northern Region
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