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NO ACTUAL CEO FOR THE NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

October 29, 2021

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

NO ACTUAL CEO FOR THE NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND


Mystery surrounds the sudden resignation of the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) CEO, a day before his scheduled appearance at Senate Estimates in Canberra.

The resignation means the Morrison Government now has No Actual CEO at its failed No Actual Infrastructure Fund.

It is understood the NAIF Board Chair, former NT Country Liberal Party candidate Tracey Hayes, advised staff of the CEO’s immediate departure by email on Wednesday evening.

Acting CEO Amanda Copping told Estimates that staff had still not been informed of the reason for the resignation of the CEO, who departed without addressing or emailing staff.

The outgoing CEO, Mr Chris Wade, only started at the NAIF in January 2020 and was paid more than $435,000 a year. This is a highly paid role in an important, $5 billion body.

The Minister for Northern Australia, David Littleproud, owes it to the north to explain why the CEO has suddenly resigned. Is it about the NAIF’s ongoing poor performance, high staff turnover, or a sign of increasing politicisation of the NAIF in the run up to an election?

This is another big blow for the Morrison Government’s failed NAIF and another sign its Northern Australian agenda just isn’t delivering.

Last night’s Senate Estimates hearing also revealed that:
• The NAIF has still only released $427.6 million of its $5 billion dollar budget since it was established in 2016. Less than 10% of NAIF funds have now hit the ground to create jobs and build projects across our north. The Government has made many NAIF announcements, but not much has been delivered.

• More NAIF staff work in Sydney than the whole of Northern Australia. This is a slap in the face for the hardworking people of our north.

• There is still no Queenslander on the NAIF board, despite North and Central Queensland being the most highly populated areas in our north. Three board members have left in recent months, with no word on when their positions will be filled, or if any Queenslanders are being considered for the roles.
Our north deserves better. We desperately need a government who will take responsibility and create more jobs, in more industries, across Northern Australia.

FRIDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2021

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA