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Northern Australia Infrastructure facility moves ahead

17 March 2016

Joint media release with Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP and Minister for Northern Australia, The Hon Matthew Canavan MP.

The Government has introduced legislation to establish the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), a centrepiece of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

With 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass but only around five per cent of our population, the potential for economic growth in our north is enormous. The NAIF will support this growth and complement private sector investment by offering concessional loans and, in some cases, other financial assistance for infrastructure that stimulates economic and population growth in northern Australia.

Investment decisions will be governed by an Investment Mandate, which has been released for public consultation. A project will need to meet seven mandatory criteria to be eligible for NAIF funding including that:

  • it involve the construction or enhancement of economic infrastructure;

  • it be for public benefit;

  • it be unlikely to proceed or significantly delayed without NAIF assistance;

  • it be located in, or have significant benefit for, northern Australia;

  • the NAIF must not be the majority source of debt funding;

  • the loan will be able to be repaid, or refinanced.

The Government has also included a requirement that projects have an Indigenous engagement strategy. The proposed mandate also includes non-mandatory criteria, including that the projects seek $50 million or more in NAIF financing. The NAIF will consult with Infrastructure Australia for projects involving more than $100 million in facility financing.

Further information can be seen at: www.industry.gov.au/industry/Northern-Australia-Infrastructure-Facility.

Media contacts: Mr Frydenberg’s media: 02 6277 7180Mr Canavan’s media: 02 6277 7739Department media: media@industry.gov.au