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NAIF STILL THE ‘NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND’

June 04, 2021

SENATOR MURRAY WATT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR QUEENSLAND RESOURCES
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
 

NAIF STILL THE ‘NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND’

 
New data revealed at Senate Estimates shows the Morrison Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is still firmly in the slow lane, with only 6 percent of funding spent since the scheme was announced six years ago.
 
NAIF CEO Chris Wade told Senate Estimates today that only $342 million had been released to projects through the NAIF.
 
Of the $5 billion promised in 2015, a total of only $70.2 million had been released in Queensland, $99.8 million in the Northern Territory and $172 million in Western Australia.
 
The infrastructure loan scheme was designed to fill a void in supporting large-scale projects, in order to turbo-charge growth in the region.
 
But at the current rate it will take 73 years for all of the NAIF funding to be rolled out.
 
It’s no wonder the NAIF is better known as the ‘No Actual Infrastructure Fund’ in the north.
 
The NAIF has been allowed to flounder under a succession of Ministers for Northern Australia. Now more than ever, we need a functioning infrastructure fund for the north.
 
It’s a direct result of this snail’s pace rollout, that has forced the Morrison Government to scramble to extend the scheme deadline, in a bid to get more money out the door.
 
The NAIF should play a key role in rebuilding the Northern Australia economy following COVID-19 by supporting job-creating projects across the region.
 
Labor recently voted for amendments that the Government claims will speed up the NAIF’s approval processes. It’s now up to the Government to deliver.
 
People in the north are sick of the empty promises, the Morrison Government has got to start delivering what it’s promised.
 
FRIDAY, 4 JUNE 2021

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA