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Govts work together to deliver radiation oncology service

11 March, 2008

The Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments will work together to identify a way forward for radiation oncology services in Darwin, after the tender process established by the previous Federal Government for Darwin's Radiation Oncology Unit closed with no contract being awarded.

The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, said the terms of the tender process operated by the previous Government had proven to be problematic.

"Soon after we came to office we identified issues with the tender," she said.

"It now transpires the tenderers were unable to meet the requirements. As a result, the select tender process has closed with no contract being awarded.

"However, the Federal Government remains strongly committed to ensuring Territorians receive a radiation oncology unit. That's why I have asked the Territory Government to work with us directly on how we can get this project up and running."

The Northern Territory Health Minister, Chris Burns, said he was disappointed by this outcome, which will lead to a delay.

"Both Governments wanted a service operational by the end of next year. That now seems highly unlikely. But I acknowledge this is an important and complex project and we need to get this right," Dr Burns said.

"The Territory Government wants a safe and sustainable radiation oncology service as soon as possible. We are prepared to work with the Federal Government to identify a successful operator and to deliver this important service for all Territorians."

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