Greater Bendigo deserves a better GovHub deal
Like most residents I have been following the debate on the proposed Government Hub in our city. On the surface a welcome initiative.
But is it the best deal for Greater Bendigo?
It all seems too secretive. Minimal information has been provided to the community by council or government. Council’s website offers little, but a search of government websites reveals a glaring anomaly and a clear difference afforded Ballarat over Bendigo
Ballarat’s government financed $100 million Gov Hub will be constructed on Crown land by Development Victoria (a government agency).
It will be home to up to 1,000 government employees of which 600 will be new jobs; no council staff. All done basically independent of Ballarat Council, and no financial burden for residents.
By contrast, Greater Bendigo Council appears to be offered a dud back room deal by the State Government. Bendigo’s Gov Hub is to be built on council land, not crown land.
The complex will house 1,000 staff – 250 existing and 100 new government staff, plus 650 EFT City of Greater Bendigo staff.
Of the $90 million cost, the state government contributes $16 million to plan the project, with private funders contributing $74 million, and they will want a hefty rental return with Greater Bendigo residents in the firing line to share the cost burden.
The government’s Bendigo effort is miniscule compared to the preferential treatment Ballarat receives.
I have some empathy with councillors and officers on this one. It is difficult for them to speak out given the state government controls the show and purse strings, and council won’t want to jeopardize future funding.
Still we don’t know the proposal our council put to the government.
Maybe our councillors can organize a citizens’ public meeting with our local state politicians to express our concerns at the apparent less-than-even-handed treatment afforded to our residents.
Greater Bendigo deserves a better GovHub deal.
Michael McKenzie, Strathdale
Washing coal is main water use at mine
In reply to Mr Sid Plant (“Our Future: Coal mining’s relentless attack on water”, Bendigo Advertiser, September 24) , the story as outlined is not what it seems.
Washing coal is the main use of water at the Acland Coal Mine. The Queensland Coordinator General advises that the mine will draw this water from the Toowoomba Waste Water Facility via pipeline. No underground water used here.
There are several aquifers affecting the proposed mine site extension. Given the nature of the geology of the aquifers there is a limited regional influence on some of the underground water caused by mining.
The same Coordinator General found that from the surface water quality monitoring program water quality was generally poor. The data results were typical of an agricultural area sic Darling Downs.
The consequence of this pollution from farmers is that it endangers the fish life in the nearby Harpoon Creek.
Ian MacCulloch, Kennington
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