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Council to consider report on Bendigo GovHub development

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Greater Bendigo City Council will next week consider a report recommending it commit to the proposed Bendigo GovHub project.

The Bendigo GovHub is a Victorian Government project that proposes to place a range of government departments and agencies in one building. GovHubs are considered a new, centralised way of doing business in regional Victoria that focus on enhancing customer service.

The GovHub project would co-locate City of Greater Bendigo staff with a range of Victorian Government departments, including the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Department of Jobs, Regions and Precincts (DJRP), Parks Victoria and 100 new public sector jobs.

City Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann said City staff were currently spread across seven buildings in the northern end of central Bendigo, of which four of the buildings are owned by Council and three are leased. 

“The Victorian Government’s preferred site for the project is the current site of the City’s main office on Lyttleton Terrace. It is proposed the four buildings Council owns on the Lyttleton Terrace site, including the main building, would be removed to make way for the new development,” Mr Niemann said.  

“Following the assessment of seven different development models, the report to Council recommends the City of Greater Bendigo become a tenant in the building and it agree in-principle to the sale of the Lyttleton Terrace site, with the sale process to involve the Valuer General of Victoria.”

By pursuing this option, the Victorian Government would be responsible for the development, construction and management of the project.

The report outlines a range of benefits relating to the proposed project, including:

  • Create 90 construction jobs and contribute $131M to the Greater Bendigo economy
  • 100 new public sector jobs (which would generate an additional 25 jobs through supply chain effects),  injecting $28.8M annually to the local economy
  • Improved customer experience, creating a one-stop-shop for government services
  • Place an additional 600 workers in the city centre, enhancing the local economy and vibrancy of central Bendigo
  • Free up buildings currently leased by Council, making them available for other businesses and services. Opportunity to develop the site currently used by DELWP for commercial or other use
  • Forecast $16.1M in productivity savings to Council over 30 years

It is expected Council would contribute a one-off cost of $7.285M to the project, which would cover temporary office accommodation and office fitout. The report notes the Victorian Government has already made a financial contribution to Council and that it would continue to seek further support to cover these costs. If this is not possible, the one-off cost would be spread across two or three financial years.

The 2013 Independent Review of the City of Greater Bendigo recommended advocating and planning for the consolidation of City offices to enable the more efficient delivery of services.

Recommendation 11 – Advocate and plan for consolidation of City offices was included as one of Council’s top 10 priorities from the Independent Review.

To view the Council report visit: www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/agendas

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