THE NEW Bendigo Hospital project will be a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for local businesses, according to Big Hill Cranes director Matt Fishley.
Mr Fishley was one of about 350 people who attended a Lend Lease information session for the project last night.
He said his company had already started work on the development.
“It’s really good for the town,” Mr Fishley said.
“I think it’s just boosting the economy and the morale in town. It’s a really big kick for us.
“It’s boosted our workload quite a bit and it’s an exciting project to be involved in.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.”
Mr Fishley said the company had nine staff members, four or five of whom were at the site each day.
Steel Work Bendigo general manager Jason Miller said last night’s meeting had help dispel some of the rumours surrounding the project.
“I thought the industrial relations part of the meeting was particularly interesting,” he said.
“There was a rumour that if you didn’t have a CFMEU Enterprise Bargaining Agreement you wouldn’t be able to get on site, and if all your blokes weren’t in the CFMEU they wouldn’t get through the gate.
“So it was nice to hear that sort of stuff would be well monitored.
“It’s nice to see there are things in place to make sure everyone gets a fair go.”
Bendigo Engineering Services director Bill Lucas said businesses that were not involved in the project would indirectly benefit from it.
Stuart Donald from the CAT Rental Store said it was positive to see government investment in regional infrastructure.
“And no doubt it’s overdue,” he said. “The government’s finally catching up.
“This project has taken a long time to come to fruition and it’s good to see it finally on the cusp of starting.
“We’ve had extensive discussions and negotiations already and it will definitely be a boost for our business.
“It’s not great out in the marketplace in general construction and this seems like a big shot in the arm.”
Bendigo Hire co-owner Paul Rockes said local trade had been slow for six to 12 months.
“It’s a great opportunity for local contractors and suppliers to get involved in a very worthwhile project in Bendigo and help kick-start the Bendigo economy,” he said.
“If the work comes our way we wouldn’t hesitate putting more staff on.
“We’d relish the opportunity to grow our business on the back of the Bendigo Hospital project.”