North Queensland-based Senator Ian Macdonald welcomed today’s announcement that the headquarters of the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) will be in Cairns in North Queensland.
“I am relieved that submissions to Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg by Andrew Cripps, Ewen Jones, Warren Entsch and me succeeded in having the facility based in the north, not in Brisbane as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk demanded,” said the Senator.
“This is an important step in the creation of the NAIF and in the development of Northern Australia.
“The NAIF is the cornerstone commitment of the Northern Development White Paper and will provide patient capital for major infrastructure projects across Northern Australia – projects that may otherwise not be contemplated.”
Senator Macdonald rejected the claim by the Labor Member for Mulgrave that it was his lobbying that secured the NAIF headquarters for Cairns, when it is a fact that his leader Annastacia Palaszczuk called for the NAIF headquarters to be in Brisbane.
“The only reason it has been established in the north – which is exactly where it should be – is because of the efforts of northern state and commonwealth parliamentarians who rejected the Queensland Premier’s absurd notion of basing the NAIF in the south of the State.”
Senator Macdonald has also welcomed the referral of the NAIF legislation to the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia for Inquiry.
“The NAIF legislation has been introduced into the parliament and is being examined by the appropriate committee for report by April 22 this year, which is usual practice with all federal legislation,” he said.
“The Draft Investment mandate has also been released, so the progress of the NAIF continues apace and we have every expectation it will be fully operational by July 1st this year as announced in the Northern Australia White Paper.”