Senator Sarah Henderson's intervention in the Bendigo GovHub proposal last week was unexpected and likely came as a shock to both the City of Greater Bendigo and state government, who have both been quick to point out they've not spoken to the Senator about the project.
But Senator Henderson has now doubled down on last week's outspoken and inflammatory comments in another salvo, this time fired from the comfort of Parliament House, and more specifically, the Senate.
Firstly, it's important we again recognise that anyone and everyone in entitled to have a view, and to seek to express that view, in a respectful and informed manner.
But The Advertiser understands Senator Henderson has not met with the City of Greater Bendigo about the project, or been been briefed by stakeholders.
Senator Henderson's actions are even more curious given there's no federal money allocated to the project.
But instead of engaging in a nasty war of words that the community has no appetite for, we urge the City of Greater Bendigo, and the state government to take the lead in responding to the Senator's comments, and instead invite her back to Bendigo for a comprehensive briefing on the GovHub.
That briefing needs to include the complete background, the independent and expert analysis of all options undertaken by the external consultants, and the reasons why the City has ultimately chosen to pursue the project in the manner it has.
It also needs to reflect how the GovHub project reflects some of the recommendations arising out of the Independent Review into the City of Greater Bendigo.
It needs to address why the Bendigo GovHub proposal is different to the others being established in Ballarat and the Latrobe Valley.
Finally, it must also be acknowledged that the state opposition has previously expressed some concerns about the GovHub, but has been far more respectful of the city and councillors in doing so.
We can only wonder what the state coalition makes of their federal colleague's recent outbursts.