BENDIGO businesses are largely happy with the way the new Bendigo Hospital project is progressing.
Project director David O’Shaughnessy told about 350 people at a meeting Tuesday night that there was no requirement for local businesses to be used in the $630 million construction.
He said that while the consortium would not commit to using local labour, Lend Lease was still keen to ensure Bendigo companies were involved.
“It’s not every size fits all,” he said.
“It’s going to be a process to work through.
“But I think everyone is trying to look and see how they can get the best chance to work on the project, and the process will be about trying to get them accessible to the job.
“And hopefully we can make it a bit easier for them.”
People from various trades told the Bendigo Advertiser the information session had been useful and that they were pleased with how the development was progressing.
Mr O’Shaughnessy gave attendees an in-depth look at the project and took questions from audience members.
“We’re out to tender on a number of packages; the local market is out there tendering on excavation and concrete works now,” he said.
“The process is really starting and over the coming year-and-a-half to two years, those tender packages will start to come online using the ICN Gateway network and moving forward.
“It’s really a desire that we have to use as many local businesses and individuals as we can.
“How that all materialises is yet to be proven.
“But we’ve got a process that we’ve outlined and hopefully we can get the right people to do the work.
“And hopefully they’re local.
“But time will tell.”
Mr O’Shaughnessy said accommodating workers, whose numbers he said would peak at up to 800 people on site in early 2015, would be a challenge.
“But it depends on the percentage of local versus Melbourne workers,” he said. “I think there’s no doubt there will be a number of people coming from Melbourne that will pose some challenges.
“We think the local market can accommodate it.
“People will be doing all sorts of things to get to the project, whether it’s transportation from Melbourne, living in caravan parks or bunking up in house.
“It will be a challenge and we’ll get through it.
But it needs the community support to get us through that issue.”
Mr O’Shaughnessy said contracts worth up to $50 million had already been awarded to companies including Siemens, Rauland, Pro AV, Cooke & Dowsett and Contractfire.
He said there had also been several “myths” over the tender process and outlined some of the criteria businesses would have to meet to be eligible for contracts.
Mr O’Shaughnessy said work had to be finished by the December 2016 deadline and noted there were fines of $250,000 for each day the project ran over schedule.