The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has used the return of State Parliament this week to question the true value of the controversial GovHub project for Greater Bendigo ratepayers.
In a constituency question to the Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes, Ms Lovell sought details on the long-term economic benefits and return on investment expected from the project.
Last month Greater Bendigo City Council agreed to sell their Council office building and land for $5.5 million to the Andrews Labor Government to make way for construction of the Bendigo GovHub. The council will become a tenant of the building and will use the proceeds of the sale towards its share of the fit-out costs of the rented space, estimated to cost more than $10 million.
With the Council required to pay rent of approximately $40 million over the term of a 40-year lease, Ms Lovell sought details on how the GovHub project represents good value for Greater Bendigo ratepayers.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“The Andrews Government continuously promotes the economic benefits during the construction phase of the GovHub but the Minister needs to outline if there will be any long-term benefits delivered by this project and what the return on investment realisation for Greater Bendigo ratepayers will be.
“The Council have sold an asset in return for expenditure of at least $50 million over the next 40 years and Ms Symes needs to explain where the value for money on such a deal is.”
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