Katherine furniture companies fuming over federal Indigenous grant to Darwin-based company
These businesses say they paid $407,000 to Aboriginal people.
Having innovative office furniture through Aboriginal development strategies gives it an unfair advantage and makes it compete directly with local companies.
Originally based in Darwin, the company has been operating outside a building in the Catherine Kalano community.
The grant grants Alan Lodge, the owner and operator of innovative office furniture, to expand his business in the town.
Catherine furniture asked the federal Minister of Indigenous Affairs Nigel skarleon to explain why funds were awarded to the company without considering the impact on local businesses.
They fear further unannounced grants to Aboriginal people.
Companies with support in society will lose the competitive edge of established companies.
\"We have been here for 22 years and sponsored local sports teams and community groups.
There has been no community consultation [About grants]
Or the impact it will have on the business.
Mr. Usher told ABC radio that he lost a local employee at the new company.
He is concerned that his business will miss the contract between the federal government and the NT government because they will not be able to meet the Aboriginal employment weight of the government tender.
\"So our main concern is that this will have a significant impact on existing cabinet manufacturers and furniture retailers because of the loss of contracts, the potential loss of employees and the loss of market share, mr. usher wrote to Senator skarlion.
\"These are very long --
Through sponsorship and donations, long-term businesses in the local community are consistently generously supported.
\"Alan Lodge, the owner of innovative office furniture, said as an aboriginal business,\" We want to open the way for other Aboriginal people through training, apprenticeship and general skill upgrading \".
He did not provide more details on how the training and apprentices worked.
\"It is true that we have some financial support from the federal government, but it is only a small part compared to the time, energy and money we put in, in a statement on Tuesday, he said: \"continue to invest in the business and Catherine. \".
He said that his business has been operating in Catherine and its surrounding areas and remote areas since 2013, \"so this is nothing new and we are no stranger to Catherine \".
He said he had hired and continued to employ \"local power companies, painters, builders, air-conditioning contractors and many other businessmen and laborers \".
A spokesman for Minister skarleon said in a statement on Tuesday that any small Catherine business is able to apply for grants and assistance in marketing and sales, import and export, procurement of equipment and hiring personnel through the industrial, scientific and innovative sectors.
\"The investment in innovative office furniture comes from the Aboriginal entrepreneurs fund,\" the spokesman said . \" It also added that it allows local businesses to apply for factories and equipment to help the industry grow to parity levels.
\"In line with the Aboriginal development strategy, all appropriate inspections have been carried out on this application,\" they said . \".
Minister skarion has yet to respond to the concerns of these businesses.
John Dobell, business manager at Whitehouse furniture, recently added a new furniture showroom worth $4 million to Catherine, and he also returned it to skulian
\"We have achieved without any support and we have experienced a lot of struggles
From the government,\" he said.
Mr. Dobell said that the IAS Grant could have been used more effectively to achieve indigenous training and employment goals.
\"Of course, it would be more productive to have a division of labor between established businesses in training and employment to create better results for everyone,\" he said . \".
These grants are managed through a $4 Aboriginal development strategy allocated by the federal government.
Within four years from 9 billion to 201819.
Islanders, natives, nt, Catherine-