The Albanese Government is advancing its commitment to support economic infrastructure across Northern Australia.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King has introduced a Bill to Parliament to amend legislation to allow the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to provide more financial assistance – and for more territories.
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2023, introduced into the House of Representatives, will ensure the NAIF can continue to invest in important projects across the north.
The Bill, if passed, will fulfil the Albanese Government’s commitment to provide an additional $2 billion to the NAIF, taking the total financing available to $7 billion.
It also expands the definition of Northern Australia to include the Indian Ocean Territories, to allow NAIF to invest in eligible projects that support economic growth or increase the populations of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Importantly, this Bill clarifies this Government’s expectation that the NAIF is empowered to provide financial assistance to develop economic infrastructure for the benefit of First Nations Australians.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the Government is proud to support the NAIF as it continues to benefit local communities, create new jobs, and develop the north.
“The sustainable and resilient economic development of Northern Australia is critical to the prosperity, security and future of our nation as a whole,” Minister King said.
“Our North is key to driving decarbonisation and achieving a Net Zero economy, which is critical to the future growth and sustainability of many industries.
“Our Government already locked in the additional $2 billion for the NAIF in our October Budget, taking the total financing available to $7 billion.
“Today’s Bill will see that this additional financing is available for use right across our north, including for the very first time the Indian Ocean Territories.
“Our investments must and will go hand-in-hand with First Nations partnership, empowerment and prosperity across the north.
“That is why this Bill also adds a new objective, to ensure the NAIF can provide financial assistance for the development of projects that benefit First Nations Australians.”