Saunders to McArdle on laundry debate: We need the jobs more
That's how Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders described his reaction when he read about another minister slamming the expansion of Wide Bay Group Linen Service.
The $3.6M investment into the facility comes after an upgrade to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which already sends its linen to Maryborough, plans to send more.
The decision angered Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle, who says a laundry facility needed to be built on the Sunshine Coast instead of sending it 176km away to be washed.
"I was cranky reading about that," Mr Saunders said.
Mr Saunders rejected the practicality of building a new facility when there was one already in place servicing the hospital.
"Building a new laundry would cost millions of dollars," he said.
"But instead we can use that money to expand our facility."
He said Maryborough needed the jobs more than Sunshine Coast.
"Maryborough needs every job it can get," he said.
"Our laundry facility is world-class, and I plan on making it bigger and bigger.
"I want to continue expanding it and have it servicing a wider area."
Mr McArdle also said the decision to invest into the building by the State Government appeared to be more about Labor protecting the Maryborough seat rather than service delivery.
"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 Government has no real belief in the Sunshine Coast."
Minister for Health Cameron Dick rejected the bias, and instead said Mr McArdle's criticism was "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 associated with Australia's first new, not replacement, tertiary hospital in 20 years being built on the Sunshine Coast," Mr Dick said.
"I make no apologies for backing the hard working laundry staff at Maryborough. The Maryborough laundry has always provided this service for the Sunshine Coast and they will continue to do so."