Lend Lease under scrutiny

THE state government could be left with only one option for tender for the New Bendigo Hospital, with consortium Exemplar facing a potential construction ban.

Exemplar, comprising Lend Lease, Capella, Siemens and Spotless Services, is one of two consortia vying for the contract to build the $630m hospital. But Lend Lease was yesterday facing scrutiny from the state government after it was reported its agreement with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union could be in breach of new guidelines introduced to prevent contractors making arrangements with unions.

The state government yesterday declined to comment on the potential impact on the New Bendigo Hospital project.

CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan said the deal between Lend Lease and the union allowing them to fly union flags on their cranes was made under the Federal Fair Work Act.

He said the lawful agreement should not prevent the company from applying for the New Bendigo Hospital project or other government construction contracts.

“I think the government need to come out and clearly state that it respects the right of contractors to make deals under the Fair Work Act.”

Department of Treasury and Finance spokesman Mac Dalton would not confirm whether Lend Lease would be barred from bidding for government-funded work.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on particular agreements which may be the subject of consideration and assessment by the Department of Treasury and Finance,” he said. 

“All tenderers for government projects after July 1 are expected to be familiar with the guidelines and submit tenders that comply with the guidelines.” 

Bendigo Health yesterday declined to comment on the potential impact of the ban, and said it was unable to comment on the state government matter.

A spokesman from Theiss, one of the companies comprising consortium Intecare (along with John Laing,  Royal Bank of Scotland and Theiss Services) was yesterday unable to comment. Tenders from the two consortia are due at the end of October.

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