It's time for council to have 'single office'
The Independent Review of the City of Greater Bendigo released its report in June 2013. Recommendation 11 of the 69 recommendations stated that the Council should “Strongly advocate and plan for the consolidation of CoGB offices”.
As the chair of that review, I am pleased to see real progress towards this objective under the GovHub proposal.
The advantages of improved community access, organisation efficiency and performance should not be underestimated and will be maximised when a facility shared with other tiers of government is developed. The proposal also provides an opportunity to deliver a 21st century building to our CBD with significantly reduced operational cost and enhanced environmental attributes.
I can confirm that the consolidation of council offices fell just outside the top ten recommendations because of the likely lengthy timeframe and relatively high cost compared to other priorities.
Read more: Land sale recommended for Bendigo GovHub
However, with the vast majority of the 69 review recommendations completed or integrated within council systems and activities, it is timely to progress the issue of office consolidation.
My personal experience in business and management leaves me in no doubt as to the advantages of a “single office” for the interchange of ideas, building teamwork and lifting performance. I’ll leave it up to others with a more detailed knowledge to determine the optimum funding model.
Rod Hanson, Bendigo
Residents not encouraged to have their say
I enjoy a laugh when I read something worthy of such. However, information claimed by some Bendigo councillors, in the Bendigo Advertiser news story titled "Councillors encourage residents to have their say on GovHub", 15 February, is blatantly ridiculous.
There has been no meaningful community consultation on the proposed Bendigo GovHub.
Yet less than a week before councillors will vote, a last ditch effort is being made by some to try and indicate residents have been given that opportunity.
As a dual ratepayer, and resident, I waited patiently for council-conducted public meetings to ask questions and make my concerns known.
I emailed all councillors on February 14 requesting their answers to four simple questions. Not one councillor has provided one answer at the time of me writing this on the afternoon of February 15.
I suspect councillors have, yet again, been muzzled. And that there was never any intention for resident participation in this momentous state government and senior Bendigo council officer driven project.
Colin Carrington, Heathcote
Selling the crown jewels
I have heard the City of Greater Bendigo Council is putting up a proposal to sell the land on which the city offices now sit as part of the Govhub deal and enter into a 40 year lease deal to co- locate with new state government offices. No one has been told about this, apart from councillors and officers in a conspiracy of secrecy. Apparently this will be pushed through at the council meeting on February 20.
This is land that has been owned by the people of Greater Bendigo for generations and is now being sold off without our knowledge or consent. It is our land, not the officers or councillors to do as they like. Councillors who intend supporting this process and deal should hang their heads in shame; do the decent thing and resign. Disgraceful treatment of our forebears and the present citizens of this proud city.
Jack Higgie, Bendigo
Have your say
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