Bendigo Hospital bid to be decided

The state government is expected to decide today if Lend Lease can continue with a bid to build the new $630 million Bendigo Hospital.

State government and Lend Lease representatives met this week to discuss a company deal with a construction union.

Lend Lease could face a ban on applying for government construction contracts over its agreement with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union allowing union flags and insignia to be used on work cranes.

A Lend Lease spokesman said yesterday its deal with the union had been approved by Fair Work Australia and complied with new government guidelines. 

The spokesman said the Bendigo Hospital bid was a high priority and the company hoped to continue with the tender process.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews called on the government to resolve the issue.

Mr Andrews said the government was putting the construction of the hospital at risk of delay.

“How could you potentially ban a major constructor from building the best hospital facility in a community like this, because they’ve done a deal with a workforce who proudly fly the Eureka flag?

“We ought to be doing everything we can to get that money spent faster, get that construction moving as fast as possible.”

Lend Lease is part of the consortium Exemplar short-listed in the tender process for the new Bendigo Hospital project. A spokesman from the other short-listed consortium, Intecare, declined to comment.

Lend Lease CEO Australia Mark Menhinnitt said the firm took seriously the need to comply with both the national and the Victorian codes through documentation and behaviour on all its projects.

The state government said it was not appropriate for it to comment.

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