176km trip to the laundry for new hospital
LAUNDRY services for the $1.8bn Sunshine Coast University Hospital will be supplied by a linen business 176km and nearly two hours away.
The State Government has spent $3.6m to expand the Wide Bay Group Linen Service in Maryborough to initially process 25 tonnes of laundry a week from the new hospital, letting it lift its workforce from 60 to 80.
The decision has angered Caloundra MP Mark McArdle (LNP) who said it was a case of taking jobs from the Sunshine Coast and delivering them to Mary- borough.
Mr McArdle said the dec- ision appeared to be more about Labor protecting its Member for Maryborough than service delivery.
It's a claim Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick has refuted saying the laundry had always provided the service to the Sunshine Coast Health District.
Should a Sunshine Coast laundry company be servicing the hospital?
This poll ended on 05 April 2017.
Yes, the jobs should stay local and it makes more sense logistically.
No, Maryborough needs jobs and the process is already in place.
I don't think it's that big an issue.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr McArdle said the State Government's Caloundra Industrial Estate was a logical place to establish a laundry to service the hosp- ital, which he said was one of the biggest in the south- ern hemisphere and which would ultimately grow to more than 700 beds.
Mr Dick, described the criticism as "another example of Mr McArdle's relentless negativity about the Sunshine Coast University Hospital".
"Most MPs would be beside themselves with the addition of 3000 jobs assoc- iated with Australia's first new, not replacement, tertiary hospital in 20 years being built on the Sunshine Coast," he said. "I make no apologies for backing the hard working laundry staff at Maryborough. The Mary- borough laundry has always provided this service for the Sunshine Coast and they will continue to do so."
Mr McArdle said it was hard to fathom why the serv- ice could not be done on the Coast with the benefit of increased jobs and value- adding to the local economy.
"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," he said. "I suspect this has been a long time in the planning and it shows this Labor Govern- ment has no real belief in the Sunshine Coast."