Bendigo community's big questions need answers

THE biggest project in Bendigo’s history was plunged into confusion yesterday.

The trouble for the Bendigo community is that no one seems in a hurry to clear up something so vital for this city.

So what are the facts of yesterday’s developments surrounding the 

$630 million Bendigo Hospital project?

The State Government has held firm on its new code to ban any company signing a union-friendly deal from getting its work.

Australian building giant Lend Lease is a major player in one of two consortia short-listed to win the Bendigo Hospital tender but has an agreement with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

So under the new State Government code Lend Lease would be banned from the hospital project unless it ends the CFMEU agreement.

Lend Lease says the State Government has granted time to find a solution. Heartening.

But many questions remain. Should Lend Lease refuse to back away from its CFMEU agreement, does the second consortia automatically win the tender?

Would the tender process start all over again and how long would that take?

The issue becomes extremely serious for this community if, as believed, the consortia bid involving Lend Lease has been judged by far the best option for Bendigo and recommended to the State Government.

What a tragedy for this community if the hospital concept considered the most superior was scuttled by political pride.

Bendigo needs and deserves total honesty on this issue. The State Government must outline the ramifications of its decision involving Lend Lease in regards to the Bendigo Hospital project.

And this community should demand the best option is the one chosen, no matter what the cost. 

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