Revitalise the CBD?

I wish to respond to the Weekly editorial of February 1, “New era looms”.

To suggest the GovHub proposal will revitalise the city centre may prove to be wishful thinking.

And co-locating our council offices at a cost of $90 million, without a proper business case and community consultation would be a further folly.

The net increase in jobs, after construction, would appear to be 100. Not a game changer.

The editorial talks about improved shopping, better hospitality venues and the like.

When the new Bendigo Bank building was constructed, council at the time, claimed it would revitalise the city centre with the massive influx of staff.

But has it? Not judging by the empty shops.

Will the GovHub produce a similar result? People coming into the city centre in the morning and disappearing at the end of the work day.

With the state government relocating various departments to the city centre at the GovHub one needs to factor in the losses suffered in the outlying suburbs when they take their services away.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Not to mention greater traffic congestion in the city centre and further parking issues.

It may even discourage existing shoppers visiting the CBD, by more congestion and fewer parking spots.

Council fails to grasp one simple point. Most people have little need or desire to come into the CBD. Shopping patterns have changed.

Their approach of throwing millions of dollars of our money to try and prop up the city centre has been an abject failure. Don’t repeat history.

Colin Carrington,

Heathcote

SMIDSY

No, Harold Hall (Letters, Weekly, February 1), the problem is not that cyclists can’t be seen, it is that drivers don’t look.

I am a cyclist and a motorcyclist, as well as a car driver. When I’m on my bicycle, I have flashing front and rear lights and a flashing light on my helmet.

On my motorcycle, the headlight and tail light are on whenever the ignition is on.

In spite of this I still have near misses with car drivers who just aren’t looking for bicycles and motorcycles. An all too familiar reaction is SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn’t see you).

No amount of hi viz is going to save you from a driver who isn’t looking for you.

The comparision with industrial and building sites isn’t valid.

These are closed environments, where those entering the sites are already looking out for workers on the site.

James Proctor,

Strathdale

Fearful for animals

I agree with Steve Kendall’s opinion piece in the January 25 edition of the Weekly.

It was with a heavy heart that I read of council planning to take control of the pound; a decision that is naturally causing immense distress for the paid staff and volunteers that currently manage the pound.

I called in to the pound today with a donation and spoke to staff.

It would be an understatement to say that they are extremely worried about their future employment after being made redundant come June 30.

The paid staff will be offered positions which they will have to submit applications for, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will be selected.

Likewise, the numerous volunteers who work so hard because of their love of animals will be “shown the door” come the above date.

I believe council by and large do a good job, but there are occasions where they make ill informed and disastrous decisions that waste ratepayers’ money.

And this takeover certainly appears to be a prime example. You may ask: where and how will council get the necessary number of staff to run the pound by June 30?

Why are the unsung, no cost volunteers being shunted out?

Council says that this decision is all about money; that the RSPCA has raised operating costs in their application to renew the contract they have been operating under for the past 20 years.

Bendigo council’s Safe and Healthy Environments manager Caroline Grylls states, in part, “We are planning on delivering an efficient and cost effective service in the future”.

The words “cost effective” send a shiver down my spine. I believe that the words should read: “cost cutting” not “cost effective”.

If council intends to take the so-called “cost effective” path, then will this mean standards of care and upkeep for the animals will be cut back?

Could there be an increase in the numbers of animals euthanased simply because of the “dollars and cents” mentality of council?

I submit that council could easily meet the higher agreement cost put forward by the RSPCA if they cut back on some other “white elephant” projects that waste ratepayers money and are unpopular and unnecessary.

This takeover by council has me fearful for the future of the dogs and cats supposedly in our care.

Eric Lakey,

Bendigo

No credits

This week our Prime Minister wants credit for getting the children off Nauru. And, to be fair, the government has finally allowed the children to come and receive urgent medical treatment after years trapped on Nauru.

But it has not agreed out of concern for the children.

Our government was forced to give in, because of the terrible state of the children’s health, and because of the extraordinary pressure from doctors and the Australian public.

So, before we give the PM any credits for humanity, please remember this is the same government that spent around $750,000 on court fees last year trying to prevent medical transfers from Nauru.

Jan Govett,

Strathdale

In whose interests?

The push by the City of Greater Bendigo Council for two major projects being a government hub and upgrading the Bendigo creek are both flawed and completely unnecessary.

The government hub has been presented using half truths, superstition, guesses and more hope than fact or reality.

The fact is that not all council departments can be located there and who is really set to gain because it is certainly not the ratepayers?

The land and building is owned by ratepayers, so why give it up to a state government if not for political and self interest reasons?

There is no proper plan or business case presented and there has been no consultation and input of any significance by residents.

The council who are responsible for storm water should get their act together and fix the many flooding issues each time we experience heavy rains.

Projects such as the hub and Bendigo creek along with others before them ultimately have and will cost ratepayers dearly.

This council and many before them have a long record of not listening to residents and consistently mismanaging projects.

Our current CEO’s predecessor also pushed a similar hub proposal and one that was shut down by just a couple of councillors who put the residents’ interests first.

We can only hope this current bunch does the same and if not we will know who they truly support.

Stuart Symes,

Epsom

Oval disgrace

Most days I use the Tom Flood oval for exercise as a cyclist. I also attend the track as a spectator each Thursday evening when the local cycling club hold their races.

I spent a weekend in December at the cycling carnival which was run by the Bendigo club.

During the carnival there were local and interstate riders and their families attending.

I would like to ask the city council why these grounds are not cleaned on a regular basis?

They were a disgrace at the carnival with many people commenting on the amount of leaves and dirt on the seating areas around the grounds.

The toilets at the Frank McCaig stand were not at all inviting to use.

Surely, ratepayers who use this public facility deserve it to be looked after.

The council somehow found millions to spend on the school oval at Maiden Gully which is privately owned and not open for individual use by the public.

Quite some time ago I wrote to the council regarding this situation without any result, we wait and see if something can be done while the summer cycling program continues.

P Bennett,

Bendigo