Councillors are due to vote next week on plans to sell the site of the City of Greater Bendigo's headquarters to the State government so a GovHub can be built.
Here is some of the correspondence sent to the Bendigo Advertiser this week.
Not the right time for project
Under no circumstances, should council consider this plan. You're like kids in a lolly shop - gotta have!
Isn't it time council considered its highly-indebted ratepayers?
Let Bendigo point the way and look after what we have, not go on a shopping spree - particularly now.
Paying rent for our own property? Got rocks in your heads! Get your heads out of the clouds.
Glenn Ford, Kangaroo Flat
Financial future at risk
Extraordinary incompetence and recklessness from a group of people without business acumen.
This impending decision will have a huge impact on Bendigo's financial future after these decision makers are dead and gone.
John Bradbury, Bendigo
GovHub alternatives economically dangerous
A watered down GovHub may not just result in the watering down of Bendigo's economy and post-COVID-19 fightback.
It may also result in jeopardising the financial sustainability of the City of Greater Bendigo council.
The "Bendigo Alliance" group has stated it "advocates council keeping its own offices on its own land by looking to extend the Lyttleton Terrance building" and for the State government to build a Gov Hub elsewhere.
Apart from the odd duplication, that idea seems economically very, very dangerous. Firstly, the State government has said that if council isn't involved, then it would consider not going ahead with the project.
Secondly, according to an independent analysis, it would cost $36.78 million for council to construct a new building to house its staff on the current site. If it was to redevelop the current building and bring the existing structure up to current code, as those opposing the GovHub are advocating, that would cost ratepayers $41.09 million. Today.
I ask the Bendigo Alliance, and any candidates looking to run under their banner and funding at the next election, what services are they willing to forego in our communities to do it this way? Are they willing to sacrifice home help, maternal and child services, early learning centres, playgroups, roads and drainage, or sports facilities and maintenance?
And what other potential infrastructure will they be willing to keep on the scrap heap because council's financial position is too weak to borrow?
A building that is a $100 million investment in this city, one the State Government pays for and takes all the building risk for, and ratepayers get a wad of cash for after selling them the land, looks like a pretty good deal.
I know I'd much rather that than a plan that would see rates skyrocket and Bendigo's services and facilities deteriorate.
Anthony Radford, Bendigo
Voters will judge this decision
There has been a lot of conversation back and forth, for and against, regarding the GovHub project.
I haven't gotten involved, my opinion is of no consequence.
What I do know is that the residents and ratepayers are the ones who vote councils in, and as we found out at the last election, can vote them out again.
The council will do what ever they want. As they always do.
The residents will show them whether they approve at the ballot box.
Murray McPhie, Epsom
Action needed before it's too late
When are the council going to listen to the ratepayers? They have history and we don't forget!
"They will be considering/voting the decision next week."
What a joke.
It's already a done deal!
They treat us like fools but we are not the ones selling our houses to then pay rent for the rest of our lives!
Who do we turn to before it's too late?
I've emailed Senator Sarah Henderson but our local members are all for it.
K White, West Bendigo
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