WE have a saying in the newsroom, the gift that keeps on giving.
It’s in reference to those stories and subjects that resurface every now and again and return to the public eye.
In the high turnaround days of a 24-hour news cycle, it’s handy to have a familiar tale to revisit and retell.
One such story in Bendigo is parking.
Write a story about parking and it seems the whole population has a gripe or a comment to make, and mostly with good reason.
The Carters’ land at Marong and the proposed compulsory acquisition was another.
That hot topic brought about national recognition, until the purchase was quashed by planning minister Richard Wynne last week.
The Carters are jubilant, but the City of Greater Bendigo is now faced with finding another location, and all that it entails.
The Marong site has been on and off the boil for 16 years.
Countless money has been spent on what was ultimately a waste.
We can only hope it can all be resolved a bit quicker than that.
Something of a similar tale is that of the Hargreaves Mall.
It seems to have been constantly a subject of argument and counter argument.
Plan after plan has been put forward, discussions made, public submissions sought. And it’s right back on the agenda again.
Practically every first world city in the world has a shopping mall of some kind.
The successful ones seem to be fully enclosed and heated and air conditioned depending on the weather. Obviously an open mall can never manage this.
But around the world there are open malls which seem to have done the right thing. Why does Bendigo have such a problem?
This is where the mall is the gift that keeps on giving, but only as a subject for news.
For the council, and those who use the mall, it’s more like a millstone.
No one can accuse anyone of doing anything wrong, but the problem persists.
Despite the oft-quoted threat of online sales denting shop profits, surely the high street shop can win out when it comes to the personal touch.
Customers like to handle the goods, try the clothes on and feel the quality, something online shopping can never do.
But the surroundings have to be right.
The Hargreaves Mall is neither shopping mall or high street, it’s a hybrid of the two.
Perhaps it needs to be rethought as one or the other.
One thing is for certain, the story is not over yet. Gift or not, the subject keeps on giving.