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NAIF extension first step in further unlocking Northern Australia's potential

17 July 2020

Joint media release with the Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia

The Coalition Government’s strong commitment to developing the economic potential of Australia’s north will continue after a decision to extend the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) a further five years.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said as part of its current statutory review, NAIF will now continue to fund vital infrastructure projects in northern Australia until 30 June 2026, extending out from its original expiration date of 2021.

“This extension is the first step under the statutory review of the NAIF that aims to implement changes to enable a more flexible and faster approval process for proponents looking to access the facility,” Minister Pitt said.

“Key to economic growth in the north will be capitalising on its comparative advantages in gas, critical minerals and renewable energy sources to support manufacturing and industry growth, and maximising the potential of the NAIF will be crucial in financing these economy revitalising projects.

“The statutory review, which I will finalise in coming months, provides a good opportunity to find ways the NAIF can be delivered so it can provide further benefits to the north,” Minister Pitt said.

Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said NAIF is already playing an important role in promoting economic development.

“To date, NAIF has approved $2 billion in loans for projects in northern Australia, with over half of that provided over the past year,” Assistant Minister Landry said.

“It is supporting an estimated 5,200 jobs in sectors including education, resources, energy, agriculture and aquaculture.

“Locally, NAIF have previously announced it reached the contractual close stage for a $24 million loan for Signature Onfarm’s specialist beef processing facility in Clermont which stands to create 200 construction jobs and up to 70 ongoing jobs, allowing the transport and sale of central Queensland premium beef to both domestic and overseas markets.

“It’s a good example of a good business with a good plan that creates regional jobs,” Assistant Minister Landry said.

Minister Pitt said he expected to see these benefits continue as the NAIF delivers the remaining $3 billion investment.

“The NAIF will also play a critical role in supporting the recovery of northern Australia from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," Minister Pitt said.

“NAIF support can be crucial in catalysing private investment in the north during this important period of economic recovery when the private sector might be reluctant, or lack the resources, to invest.”

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt's office - 02 6277 7180
Assistant Minister Landry's office - 02 6277 4283