MEMBER for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan has urged Premier Denis Napthine to admit the New Bendigo Hospital project is nine months late.
Ms Allan said she understood Dr Napthine would turn the first sod at a ceremony on Monday.
She said the occasion was a chance for the premier to “look the Bendigo community in the eye and acknowledge that the project is nine months late and say sorry”.
Ms Allan said Dr Napthine should bring his “shiny shovel” at the turning of the first sod and an apology.
“The bungling of the tender process by Denis Napthine and his government means the sod turning is taking place nine months late,” she said.
“At the very least, Mr Napthine should be up-front with the community and acknowledge this when he visits Bendigo.”
Ms Allan said starting the hospital nine months late would put pressure on the premier’s promise that the hospital would be completed by 2016.
“It’s important now that Denis Napthine re-commits to the 2016 finish date and that there will be no further delays to the new hospital,” she said.
A spokesperson for Dr Napthine said the project was expected to be completed by the promised date.
The spokesperson said work had already begun on the new hospital, despite Ms Allan’s claims.
“There has been a lot of work going on,” the spokesperson said.
“Two weeks after it was announced that Lend Lease was the successful tender, work had begun.
“Just because there hasn’t been a ceremonial photo opportunity doesn’t mean work hasn’t begun.”
The spokesperson said the premier would be part of a community celebration event at the hospital on Monday.