Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison calls for local workers on construction of New Maitland Hospital

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison at the site of the New Maitland Hospital at Metford. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison at the site of the New Maitland Hospital at Metford. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The New Maitland Hospital is on the cusp of construction but Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison hasn’t eased off the pressure.

On Friday, the Labor politician announced she had put the state’s health minister Brad Hazzard on notice that there must be local workers including apprentices, Aboriginal people and women employed on the construction of the New Maitland Hospital.

The call comes after Hunter parliamentary secretary Scot MacDonald announced Multiplex Constructions, who also constructed Stockland Green Hills, to build the $470 million facility at Metford.

But Ms Aitchison said her office had received a number of calls from Maitland companies expressing concern that local firms may be overlooked for involvement in the project.

​"The NSW Government must ensure that local tradespeople and especially young people seeking employment are given a fair chance to participate in this project,” she said. 

“The New Maitland Hospital is the single biggest public infrastructure investment by the state [government] in Maitland and there should be a significant economic boost for the city.”

Construction on the multi-million dollar project will begin in 2019, and is expected to be completed by 2022.

Ms Aitchison added she would be writing to the successful tenders to ask them about their plans for job creation in the Maitland and wider Hunter region. 

"I'm concerned by the level of anxiety already being expressed by Maitland businesses that they are not optimistic about their chance of securing work on this project,” she said. 

“Minister Hazzard needs to take these concerns on board and ensure there's a level playing field for contractors."

The long-awaited hospital has been at the centre of a stoush after the state government announced plans for a public-private partnership or not-profit organisation to operate the new hospital.

But controversial plans sparked outrage, and were ditched earlier this year.