coalition upsets some nt business

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    ABC Online
    The Northern Territory Government has expressed scepticism over changes to a national defence maintenance contract promised by the Coalition.

    Hundreds of local defence contractors had feared they would be locked out of Defence work under the billion-dollar contract with TenixToll.

    The contract has become an election issue in the knife-edge Darwin seat of Solomon.

    This weekend the Coalition pledged to change the terms of the Tenix deal, introducing a two-year transition period during which local businesses would be used as sub-contractors.

    The Territory's Defence Support Minister, Paul Henderson, has questioned the timing of the announcement.

    "It is a back-flip at the last minute by the Commonwealth, that's why I'm very suspicious," he said.

    He says the detail of the proposed change needs to be seen.

    "Each one of those 240 territory businesses needs a rolled gold guarantee form Senator [Robert] Hill that they will continue to receive the same amount of work via TenixToll as they're currently receiving directly from the Commonwealth," Mr Henderson said.

    Federal Defence Minister Robert Hill says he is responded to concerns raised with him during his recent visits to the Top End.

    "Being better informed, I said we certainly had no intention of undermining good local business," he said.

    Dave R.
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