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NAIF Loan Marks Milestone for Darwin Shiplift

19 November 2020

Joint media release with Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry, and Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon.

The Northern Territory shiplift project has met a major milestone and reached the contractual close for its $300 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to finance the project.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the contractual close between the Northern Territory Government and NAIF means the project can start work on design and construction.

“The shiplift will support around 100 jobs during construction and around 187 ongoing jobs once the project is operating,” he said.

Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry and Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison have overseen the contractual close in Darwin, marking a key landmark for the $400 million project.

“The shiplift and associated Marine Industries Facility will enable large vessels to be serviced and repaired in Darwin, further boosting the Northern Territory’s reputation and location as a key port for export destinations to the north,” Assistant Minister Landry said.

“When it is operating, the shiplift will be capable of servicing vessels involved in the offshore petroleum, fishing and pearling industries, as well as Defence and Australian Border Force vessels.

“It will operate on a commercial basis and is estimated to return around $260 million a year into the local economy when it is operating. Construction is due to start early next year with the shiplift to be operational in 2023.”

Minister Pitt added that the NAIF contractual closure underlined the Government’s support for the further development of northern Australia.

“The Australian government is a strong supporter of development in northern Australia, to provide jobs and economic opportunities right across the north for the benefit of all Australians,” Minister Pitt said.

“The finance for the shiplift project will build on the capacity of Darwin’s port to service maritime industries and will strengthen Darwin’s role as a hub for trade with our trading partners.

“Since its inception, NAIF has committed more than $2.4 billion in projects across northern Australia, supporting around 8,000 jobs, and has reached contractual close on $1.1 billion of projects across the north.

“In the Northern Territory, NAIF has made offers of finance worth $857 million including funding for the Charles Darwin University’s new campus, expansions of the Humpty Doo Barramundi farm, and helping to deliver upgrades across Northern Territory airports.”

Northern Territory Senator Dr Sam McMahon said the NAIF is continuing to contribute to the development of the Northern Territory.

“The NAIF is a fantastic contributor to the Territory’s economic recovery and it’s great to see more jobs being created in the north,” she said. 

“The Darwin shiplift, a CLP initiative, has been in the making for some time and it’s encouraging to see that this major project will now move into the construction phase and create jobs for Territorians.”

Earlier this year, Minister Pitt announced a series of reforms which will speed up NAIF approvals and make it easier for suitable projects to qualify for funding. The Government has also extended the $5 billion facility to continue operations for a further five years until mid-2026.

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt 02 6277 7180

Assistant Minister Landry 02 6277 4283

Senator McMahon 08 8948 3555