Union calls for government to speak up about Bendigo Hospital

THE state government must clarify its position on Lend Lease and the Bendigo Hospital development, according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. 

CFMEU construction division national secretary Dave Noonan said the union would not change its agreement with Lend Lease, despite the state government banning the construction company from all government work because of the contract. 

Mr Noonan said it was up to the government to explain what was happening. 

“The last time we spoke to Lend Lease they hadn’t been notified that they’d been blacklisted,” he said.  

“We’re still operating on the media reports from Fairfax the other day which claim the government will be blacklisting Lend Lease, but there’s no formal announcements confirming that. 

“They should tell the company, the workers, the union and the people of Victoria... we’d call on Premier Baillieu to explain clearly what the Victorian government’s position on this is.”

Mr Noonan said blacklisting companies because of union agreements would be an “extraordinary turn of events”. 

The agreement between the CFMEU and Lend Lease gives the union extensive right of entry at job sites, requires the union be consulted on the use of subcontractors, sets minimum pay rates for subcontractors and requires union flags be flown. 

“If the government has got a position, rather than backgrounding the media, they ought to come out and state what their position is,” Mr Noonan said. 

Bendigo MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards have called on the government to explain the situation. 

Questions and interview requests put to several government departments have not been answered. 

Lend Lease and Thiess declined to comment.

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