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Northern Australia headed in the right direction

11 August 2016

The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, today launched the headquarters of the NAIF in Cairns.

Senator Canavan said the $5 billion initiative would help finance the transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure needed to unlock the potential of the nation’s north.

“The Government’s plan for the north is about making sure the region realises its enormous economic potential,” Senator Canavan said. “Northern Australia already makes a significant contribution to the national economy. It accounts for over 11 per cent of Australia’s GDP—even though it boasts just five per cent of the population,” he said.

“We have this huge land mass—40 per cent of Australia’s land area—with lots of untapped natural resources. Imagine how much of a contribution our region could make to the Australian economy if we could harness more of these resources for the production and export of food, energy and mineral commodities and tourism.

“The right infrastructure is a fundamental driver of economic change. It can stimulate productivity and growth, encourage further investment, increase accessibility to markets, especially for remote areas, and help attract and retain workers.”

The NAIF is led by an independent Board, chaired by Sharon Warburton, that will make decisions on financing infrastructure projects, and which met for the first time yesterday.

“The Board is passionate about the development of the north and has extensive expertise across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, government, finance, construction and the law,” Ms Warburton said.

Project proponents can call 1800 887 588 to discuss potential projects.

Media contact: Senator Canavan's office 02 6277 7180