THE POWER OF PAPERS
Since 1853 the Bendigo Advertiser has cared for all sections of the community.
A strong regional newspaper gives citizens the opportunity to be informed and to engage in worthy debate on issues affecting their lives.
Particularly in present times now being experienced with Covid-19, it is essential for organs such as the Addy to effectively alert neighbourhoods with crucial information and guidance.
Of critical importance is access to reliable news from credible sources to counter the misinformation so frequently spread through social media.
This, together with a connection to its readership by featuring district activities and personalities, charitable events and entertainment becomes a vital role with the demise of smaller country newspapers.
Such coverage also provides recognition of the associated sponsorships so vital for the cohesion and prosperity of local economies.
Comprehensive sports reports and the longest running sporting award in Australia, Sports Star of the Year, founded by the Addy and BCV 8 television station, are examples of its commitment to this region.
Vibrant societies rely on strong local media like the Bendigo Advertiser.
"Where would we be without the Addy".
Robert Cook, Bendigo
VOTE NEEDS COURAGE
Bendigo councillors have faced some difficult decisions, and there is much community angst whether council owned land and buildings be sold for $5.5 million for a GovHub.
Should the sale proceed, council ceases to be a mainly free-hold owner, becoming a rent-paying tenant forever.
Tonight, councillors should be able to speak freely and vote according to their research, beliefs, and dare I say conscience.
Enormous dissatisfaction has been expressed regarding the lack of public consultation, and dismay when the 'deal for Bendigo' is compared to the Ballarat GovHub.
I remind councillors of a 2005 proposal to extend the tourist tram route around Lake Weeroona, which met staunch community opposition and was ultimately rejected.
In 2009, the proposed Walk Bendigo project, claimed to be 'visionary' by key supporters, was strongly opposed by business, ratepayers and residents.
Councillors listened to the people they represent. The project was dropped.
Councillors must be aware of the current widespread community discontent.
If they voted in favour of the 'in principle sale' in February 2019, there is still opportunity to display courage by voting no tonight.