People power keeps Norco in hospitals
A CHANGE of heart following a community backlash will see Norco retain the contract to supply milk and dairy products in 15 health facilities between Tweed Heads and Port Macquarie.
The decision to hand the contract to Dairy Farmers, owned by Japanese beer manufacturer Kirin Holdings, drew public ire and created a firestorm on social media.
Two days ago, NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, was saying Norco "did not offer the most economical price for taxpayers.”
Now he has backflipped and said the NSW Government recognised the local community wanted to support the local dairy industry in Northern NSW.
"The NSW Ministry of Health has a duty, generally, to provide the best products for patients at the best possible price for taxpayers,” he said.
"In that context the NSW public sector agency, HealthShare NSW, put the state wide contract for milk and dairy supply out to tender and made a decision which precluded Norco supplying hospitals in the northern and mid north coast areas.
"It is understandable locals would prefer to have Norco provide the milk and dairy products for local hospitals.
"In light of the impact on the community, which only came to light after the tender, I asked HealthShare NSW to review its decision.
"Accordingly, the contract will be reinstated and the benefits of providing local milk to local hospitals have been given priority.”