By ERWIN CHLANDA
The flow of hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Territory because some businesses are not permitted to tender for Federal contracts has to stop.
So says Braedon Earley, president and co-founder of the 1Territory party, who is contesting Lingiari – all of the NT except Darwin – in the July 2 poll.
He says the $100,000 it costs to obtain Federal accreditation is out of reach for many small to medium size companies.
He estimates that as a result, 40% of the $1b expenditure under the Intervention went interstate – and continues too do so.
“The Federal procurement and expenditure accreditation process to win Federal tenders must be deregulated,” says Mr Earley.
“It doesn’t cost a million dollars to build a house in Papunya or Ngukurr. But that’s its cost when you pay 30% to 40% to interstate management companies.
“This is a man-made problem,” he says. “It’s made by the Federal governments, Labor as well as Coalition.”
He says a major impediment to tourism and economic growth are the restrictions on air traffic, a major shackle on tourism and Territory exports, says Mr Earley.
“Cabotage cannot be allowed to continue. There is no reason why international airlines cannot land in Darwin and Alice Springs and take on domestic passengers,” he says.
He suggests the fact that politicians have Platinum One passes to the Qantas lounges may have something to do with that.
Mr Earley also wants beef roads bitumised, criss-crossing the NT.
“The days when you need to reweld your cattle crates after a trip need to be over if we want to have our cattle industry prosper.”
In The Centre roads such as the Tanami, Plenty and Sandover highways need to be fully sealed.
He is pushing for mobile phone and data cover of the entire NT.
“I’m sure on the eastern seaboard all schools are connected to the NBN. Ours should be, too, including those kids on the Alice Springs School of the Air. All kids in remote areas need access to unlimited data. If elected I’ll take this as a mandate.”
Mr Earley is standing as an independent: 1Territory is a registered party in the NT but its Federal registration is still in progress.
He is teaming up with Mark Garner who is standing in Solomon, and who played a key role in lowering fuel prices in the Top End.
By ERWIN CHLANDA