Senator welcomes consultation on $5billion fund for the North


Today’s release of the Consultation Paper for the $5billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) marks another step forward towards unlocking the vast economic potential of Northern Australia, according to Northern based Senator Ian Macdonald.

 Senator Macdonald welcomed the Consultation Paper, which outlines the proposed design and operation of the fund which will offer up to $5 billion in concessional loans over five years to encourage and complement investment in infrastructure in northern Australia.

 “The consultation period, which closes at the end of this month, will allow stakeholders to provide feedback and make comment on whether the Government needs to make any additions or amendments to the proposed criteria for the concessional loan scheme,” Senator Macdonald said. 

 Senator Macdonald said the NAIF loans will be used to finance major economic projects like airports, ports, roads, rail, energy, water and communications infrastructure and will help to build the economic capacity and longer term expansion of industry and the population in Northern Australia.

 The consultation paper outlines the draft eligibility criteria, which includes:

  • projects that involve construction or enhancement of economic infrastructure
  • projects that are of public benefit, projects that are unlikely to proceed or will proceed at a much later date without NAIF assistance
  • projects where NAIF finance will be able to be repaid, for loans of at least $50million and
  • where NAIF finance mustn’t exceed 50 per cent of the total project debt, meaning in practice that projects will have a capital cost of more than $100 million.

 Senator Macdonald said it was a privilege to be at the official opening of the Northern Australian Investment Forum in Darwin yesterday and see firsthand the level of interest from international stakeholders keen to share in a part of the North’s great potential. 

 “There was a real sense of excitement and anticipation among the participants, all of whom were keen to see the vision of Northern Australia realised,” Senator Macdonald said.

 Submissions for the NAIF close on November 30. More information is available at www.industry.gov.au/naif.

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