Remote contracting policy

The Northern Territory Government is working in partnership with Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory to deliver better livelihood outcomes in areas including:

  • Aboriginal identity, culture and language
  • education
  • health 
  • employment
  • business development. 

The Northern Territory Government supports the view that integrated and coordinated action across all policy areas is required, and that economic development is the first amongst equals of the suite of policies. 

Culture and land are vital, education and good health are foundations. Unless you have access to an economy in which you as an individual can trade goods and services, you can’t build a life for yourself or your family, and you can’t contribute to your immediate community or society more broadly.

A major focus then of the Northern Territory Government is to support Aboriginal economic development, particularly in remote areas through the pragmatic contracting for remote government goods and services.

Remote contracting policy

This policy details how the Northern Territory Government is taking action to support remote economies and communities. 

1. Setting employment and business development targets

These targets will be achieved by Northern Territory Government agencies that contract for any of the following:

  • housing
  • infrastructure
  • roads
  • civil works
  • delivery of goods and services

2. New contract planning requirements

This includes identifying five year investment horizons to remove the negative impacts of unaligned capital projects on business sustainability. The horizons detail all known planned investment in:

  • federal, territory and local governments
  • private sector
  • community sector.

The relevant organisation will be responsible for ensuring that value for money for government is delivered; that is on time, on budget and on specification.

3. Providing professional services support to local Aboriginal businesses 

The Department of Business provides professional services to support local Aboriginal businesses across the Territory.

These services help businesses in areas including:

  • gaining Northern Territory and Commonwealth Government contracting accreditation
  • governance
  • legals
  • human resources
  • financials 
  • project management. 

These outcomes will be achieved in the following ways:

  • implementing whole-of-government changes to the Northern Territory Government's contracting practices
  • enhanced collaboration with Commonwealth and local governments and the private and not-for-profit sectors
  • working more closely with Aboriginal businesses and organisations that employ large numbers of Aboriginal Territorians over the long term. 

Employment​​ and business development targets

The employment and business development targets are set out below.

​Employment​Supporting 2000 private sector Aboriginal jobs​1000 by provisional sum contract requirement​Approximately 100​2017
​1000 by Aboriginal business contracting to government or community sectors​Approximately 100​2017
​Business development​Open and select tender (1)
Typically awarding of minor repairs and maintenance contracts on essential services, housing and transport assets to local businesses
​Open tender
Tender response must demonstrate Joint Venture with local Aboriginal business for contract over $5 million
​Minimum 5 per year​02017

(1) Measured as a percentage of the total number of tenders in remote areas.

Contract ​planning

The Office of Aboriginal Affairs (OAA) graphs five-year, place-based investment horizons based on known planned expenditure. 

OAA liaises with all Northern Territory Government agencies and the private and community sectors. It is responsible for deciding:

  • which Northern Territory Government contracts should be directed to local businesses
  • whether there will be an open or select tender process
  • timing of tender release.

OAA and the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation work with industry bodies and the not-for-profit sector to both:

  • map local Aboriginal businesses
  • determine their capability to deliver Northern Territory Government services and projects. 

Professional services support

The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation provides professional services support to local Aboriginal businesses. 

It aims to support sustainable businesses and provide value for money in contract delivery. 

The format and time frame of the support will vary depending on the business' needs and goals. In joint venture contract arrangements support will be guided by the partner company's level of engagement. 

Contact details

Office of Aboriginal Affairs
GPO Box 2605
Alice Springs NT 0871
Phone:  (08) 8951 5670

Procurement NT
Department of Trade, Business and Innovation
GPO Box 3200
Darwin NT 0801​
Phone:  (08) 8999 1410

Last updated: 22 February 2017