FEBRUARY 2, 2016: THE draft legislation to enable the flow of $5 billion into projects in Northern Australia has been released and this is a welcome step in developing jobs and opportunities for the north.
This exposure draft legislation for the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) paves the way for the flow of funding into the development of infrastructure, so that this region and other parts of Northern Australia can reach the potential we know is there.
Northern Australia holds the country’s rich reserves of energy and resources, it has many thousands of hectares of arable land if we get the right water infrastructure, like Urannah Dam, in place, and we have world-class tourist attractions.
The Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg released a NAIF consultation paper in November last year, and since then has conducted extensive public consultation process across the north.
He has had overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Under the draft bill, the NAIF will start operation on July 1 this year and will provide $5 billion over five years for the construction of economic infrastructure in northern Australia.
State and Territory governments are expected to play an important role, including entering into loan agreements with project participants as negotiated by the independent NAIF Board.
The Commonwealth Government will provide the funds and bear the financial risk of these loans.
The NAIF Board will include up to seven members, including a chair, who will require experience in one of a number of fields including finance and infrastructure. The Board will be supported by a CEO and additional staff as required.
Feedback on the exposure draft can be provided by 4 February 2016 and should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.industry.gov.au/naif