State Member for Caloundra, Mark McArdle, today criticized Labor Health Minister, Cameron Dick, for taking jobs from the Sunshine Coast and delivering them to Maryborough.
It comes as the Health Minister announced in State Parliament on Wednesday that “the laundry service of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital” would be outsourced to Maryborough rather than remaining in the region.
“The Health Minister stated that the new public hospital at Kawana ‘is important’ for the people of the Coast but in the same breath took an important employment opportunity from those people.” Mr McArdle said.
“I can only imagine that a hospital of this size would produce an incredible amount of linen that would be need to be laundered covering 400 beds, gowns, towels, surgery wear and many other items. If a service on the Coast were to provide the clean linen, it would assist our economy." Mr McArdle said.
The Health Minister went on to confirm that the Labor Government will invest $3.6m to expand the laundry service at Maryborough to prepare for the new Hospital’s linens which Mr McArdle said is a clear message that the Minister does not want this work to be undertaken on the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s hard to fathom why, with Sunshine Coast being nowhere near Maryborough, a service of this nature could not be done here with the benefit of increased jobs and value-add to the economy of the region.
“Cameron Dick obviously feels that the region is not able to provide a laundry service or that a local provider would not wish to establish itself here. I suspect this has been a long time in the planning and it shows this Labor Government has no real belief in the Sunshine Coast. ” Mr McArdle said.
“The Labor government is actually making certain that Maryborough, a seat held by Labor, gets the job. It is an example of Labor helping their mates whilst ignoring the Sunshine Coast.” Mr McArdle argued.
“Unashamedly, the Minister also made the comment “---- we welcome trade unions to represent these workers as well” referring to laundry staff. Does this mean that the private sector wouldn’t get a look in unless they kowtowed to union heavies and that is why the Coast been bypassed?
“This is an example of another Labor government ignoring the Sunshine Coast, particularly when one considers that it was the LNP who signed the contract and funded construction of the hospital,” Mr McArdle concluded.