Today the Federal Government has introduced the legislation that will secure the investment of potentially billions of dollars to unlock the massive potential of Northern Australia.
Northern-based LNP Senator and Chair of the Northern Australia White Paper Implementation Oversight Committee Ian Macdonald said the introduction of legislation to establish the $5billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) was the single-biggest achievement to date in the overall process to develop Northern Australia.
“Since its launch in June last year, we’ve been making steady progress in the delivery of the initiatives outlined in the Northern Australia White Paper,” Senator Macdonald said.
“However by far the biggest, most significant component - the centrepiece of the White Paper, is this $5billion concessional loan fund which will facilitate private sector investment.”
Senator Macdonald also welcomed today’s release of the Investment Mandate for public consultation.
“This mandate will govern investment decisions, and the success of the whole program will be reliant on the Government getting this process right,” Senator Macdonald said.
The draft mandate proposes 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.
“Along with a number of my northern colleagues, I have been working towards this day for a number of years. It is a monumental moment for me, and a critical milestone in the development of Northern Australia.
Senator Macdonald said the NAIF will offer up to $5billion in concessional loans over five years, commencing 2016-17 for infrastructure that stimulates economic and population growth in the North.
Submissions on the draft Investment Mandate close on 29 March, 2016.