17.7 C
Byron Shire
June 24, 2021

Gov’t backflip as NORCO regains milk contract for hospitals

Latest News

Another roadblock for major Kingscliff development?

Tweed Council clarifies that the Kingscliff DA for a haulage road that will allow '90,000 truck and trailer movements' to bring in fill from the M1 upgrade does not actually allow the developers to use the proposed fill at the site – developers disagree.

Other News

Morrison’s craven cave to the QAnon cult – can he squirm out of this one too?

Monday night’s Four Corners program on ABC explained that two Australian lackeys of the American cult called QAnon – Tim Stewart and his son Jesse – are pushing the cult’s terrible excuse for a belief system.

Backsliders coming to Lennox

Australian music legends the Backsliders are coming to Lennox Head for the first time, to play at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 26 June 2021.

Another roadblock for major Kingscliff development?

Tweed Council clarifies that the Kingscliff DA for a haulage road that will allow '90,000 truck and trailer movements' to bring in fill from the M1 upgrade does not actually allow the developers to use the proposed fill at the site – developers disagree.

Local rice at Farmers Markets

News travels fast – after two years of drought, the local rice is back! Get it while it’s hot...

Localisation fantasy

Boyd Kellner, Newrybar The world’s richest person, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has increased his wealth from $130 billion to $186...

Vaccine passports

David Warth, Byron Bay Vaccine passports, aka certificates, are now sitting in the wings waiting to be taken up by state...

It appears all the major parties are now trying to claim credit for Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s and HealthShare NSW’s backflip on the supply of milk to north coast hospitals being returned to local dairy cooperative NORCO.

According to Health Services Union (HSU) NSW secretary Gerard Hayes ‘It was HSU members at Lismore Base Hospital who initially blew the whistle on the loss of the NORCO contract to more than 16 local health facilities’ earlier this week.

‘When health workers first raised the issue, it was dismissed by the Member for Lismore, Thomas George MP.

Since then however, the public response has been overwhelming, and an HSU on-line petition attracted over 3,000 signatures in just a matter of hours.’

However, Member for Lismore, Thomas George, said he had been working behind the scenes with Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard to have the HealthShare NSW contract overturned.

Is the cheapest the best?

Mr Haynes also highlighted the need for the tender process to ‘factor in the multiplier benefits associated with keeping business in NSW.’

‘The cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best, especially if it means money going offshore and jobs being lost in local communities. The state government should be ensuring that taxpayer’s money is used wisely to generate the best return for NSW,’ he said.

Recognising the desire for the local community to support the local dairy industry in Northern NSW Mr George said he has had ‘meetings with minister for finance, services and property, Victor Dominello, to discuss the opportunity for the government to give a weighting when it comes to local businesses applying for government contracts.’

Claiming credit

While the NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has said that ‘The Nationals cannot – in good conscience – take a victory lap; this is about the community stopping a bad state government decision,’ local Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin has said that ‘Media stunts like the one we have seen by NSW Labor this week do not deliver any outcomes for our community. The real work is done behind the scenes.’

However, it is local Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh who demonstrated the most grace by saying ‘Congratulations to the Health Services Union and local hospital staff for standing up against this terrible decision and winning.’

‘This is a victory for people power. Our community has shown its strong support for local jobs and our local farmer owned businesses. The response on social media has been magnificent.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The term “people power” was coined for those in the Philippines and other countries who overturned corrupt Marcos and other dictatorships. This is nothing of the kind. A procurement decision was made in the best interests of the people of NSW and overturned by populist pressure in a blatantly political decision. The loss to the people of NSW in any one case like this is small. But the principle of open procurement reducing waste in spending us all.

    Much was made particular by Pugh on the foreign ownership of this firm but he has not answered my question of him as to wether it is Australian Labor policy to prefer Australian firms. How can the Commonwealth to argue for access to far more lucrative markets for our dairy and other products when parochial politicians like Pugh are making Trumpesque commentary on foreign owned firms? And what will Pugh and Secord say if he QLD government decides to apply similar discrimination against NSW forms? How would the health sector unions feel if their approach were extended to employment contracts, so a Tweed Heads nurse could not work in a QLD hospital?

    There are no winners in parochialism – as Trump is showing we all loose.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

‘The Norway of Australia’: what does good electric vehicle policy look like?

What does good electric vehicle policy look like? NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean has announced an EV car package that he says will bring NSW on par with the world’s best. Is he right?

Byron market relocation proposal divides opinion

Community opinion appears to be starkly divided over the proposed relocation of the Byron Community Markets from the foreshore at Main Beach to Railway Park, which Byron councillors will vote on this Thursday.

Michael Lyon announces Byron Shire Council ticket

Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, has announced a group of candidates to run for the upcoming Council elections in September.

Old Byron Hospital future before Council

A significant decision about the future of the old Byron Hospital site will be made this week, with Byron Council choosing an organisation to manage the new community hub that will be created there.