MEMBER for Northern Victoria Region Damian Drum says there needs to be “a touch of reality” when it comes to the new Bendigo Hospital project.
The Bendigo Advertiser recently reported some Bendigo trades people are concerned locals will be shut out of the project.
“There just needs to be a dose of reality in among such a large project,” Mr Drum said.
“Obviously, it is everybody’s intention that we optimise local content within the project.
“That’s why the government, under Peter Ryan’s regional development portfolio, has invested $350,000 to partner up with the City of Greater Bendigo to introduce the 'Leveraging the Benefits of the new Bendigo Hospital' … That’s a state government investment to optimise local input.
“On the flip side, it has to be understood that this is a by far the biggest project Bendigo has ever seen. And the consortium Exemplar will need to rely on its tried and trusted larger construction companies to do the bulk of the construction work.”
Meanwhile, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan says she understands why Bendigo tradies have concerns about the project.
“I can understand why local tradies are fearful as they have seen how Denis Napthine bungled the tender process and the hospital is running nine months late,” Ms Allan said.
“The Napthine Government should be listening to local tradies and be doing everything they can to ensure our community gets every opportunity from the new Bendigo hospital project.”
A Lend Lease spokesperson told the Bendigo Advertiser yesterday Exemplar Health was committed to working with the 'Leveraging the Benefits of the new Bendigo Hospital' Steering Committee as well as ICN to maximise opportunities for local contractors and suppliers.
“It is about delivering the best outcome for the project and the best hospital in the long term for the community."