The attempt in last week’s Bendigo Weekly by council City Futures director Stan Liacos, to convince readers that all was well with council’s major projects was singularly unpersuasive.
Fundamental problems with all major projects are-
• Lack of systematic and widespread community consultation.
• Lack of consideration of alternatives.
• Lack of research on similar projects both in relation to design, initial and on-going costs and administrative methodology.
• Absence of standard professional methods such as cost-benefit and risk analyses.
• No consideration of community priorities.
• No consideration of individual and multiple financial impacts on ratepayers.
• Zero consideration of constructive criticisms by knowledgeable ratepayers.
To illustrate: the Hangman’s Hall Theatre has little demonstrated community support, has highly dubious cost estimates, has no adequate provision for car parking, is poorly located for most ratepayers and has little solid indication of adequate use.
An airport upgrade could be achieved much more cheaply and council has presented no evidence of substantial increased use or benefit to local people. There have been no adequate professional studies of the plan and no work has been done on securing a site for a new airport which would be of major economic value.
In the context of the upcoming council elections, Mr Liacos’ self promotion provides no good reasons to retain most of the present councillors. With the exception of Crs. (Peter) Cox and (Lisa) Ruffell, Bendigo would be well served by seeing some new faces on council, hopefully men and women who would ensure that we see major administrative reforms in what is, very largely, an incompetent and visionless council.
Neil Clark (Bendigo ratepayer),
Randwick, NSW.Outstanding support for Million Paws Walk
We had outstanding support from the community for the Million Paws Walk in the Bendigo region.
More than 500 people walked around Lake Weeroona to support this worthy cause.
We had a variety of services available such as microchipping and dental and health checks.
We also had an agility circuit for the dogs and training demonstrations. A wonderful day was had by all.
The RSPCA would like to acknowledge and thank the local community in Bendigo for their support.
We would also like to thank the Bendigo Animal Hospital, White Hills Animal Hospital, McIvor Road Veterinary clinic, Passionate Vetcare, DogTech, Nick (Coffee Cart, Lake Weeroona) and the German Shepherd Dog Club Bendigo for their outstanding support.
Last, but not the least, our volunteers Belinda, Ivan, Sharon, Andrea, Chaitrali, Yatin and Ramon for their excellent work on the day and our staff at the Bendigo Shelter who have been working tirelessly throughout the year.
A memorable day
On Wednesday, May 16 I had the opportunity, accompanied by the City of Greater Bendigo Planned Activity Group to attend a morning at Girton College.
After a delicious morning tea it was then time for the students of all ages to show us their talents, and what a wonderful performance it was.
To have so many young students who are busy with their studies and pressures of today taking time out to sing and play instruments in front of so many people should be highly congratulated, not forgetting the input from Girton staff.
Today these are our young students, but tomorrow and beyond they are our heroes and who knows where that will lead any of them.
They need more than a pat on the back, and what better week to have it than volunteer week.
They volunteered their time in arranging and making sure we had a memorable day. Once again well done.
Maintaining the integrity
In reference to the mention in last week’s Bendigo Weekly of a previous scheme of wholesale development of the Fortuna site, it is worth being reminded of what that plan was. It was to extend Marble Street from its present dead-end, through the middle of the grounds to join Chum Street.
The boundaries of the land fronting the proposed Marble Street through-road showed that blocks were to be on both sides of that road.
Given the sloping nature of the land, not only would that have brought some of the blocks close to the Villa, but the view from the Villa would effectively be into the ‘backyards’ of the residences.
Community groups, while not opposed to limited and sensitive development of the site, have expressed over the years the need to value the integrity of the whole site – that is, the Villa within its colonial garden setting, and especially retaining the lake as a picturesque and valuable feature.
Hasty plans to drive a suburban road through and carve up the garden area on the basis of maximum income from land sales must consider the outcome.
It is one thing to have a money-making machine of major development and so preserve the Villa but, in doing so, what will be left? A small island of a unique Australian mansion simply marooned and overlooking the back-sides and yards of a string of 21st century town houses?
Let us hope that any sale to a private buyer will be under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth’s Heritage Management Plan which obviously places great value on the integrity of landscape and the main building’s setting within it.