The Northern Territory Government will cut the controversial NT Infrastructure Development Fund (NTIDF) and divert half of the remaining funds towards supporting local jobs.
The government said half of the remaining funds from the NTIDF ($92.5 million) will be invested in new job-creating, stimulus projects in the Northern Territory, including:
- Capital grants for economic transformation projects
- Concessional loans to deliver short-term finance to small and emerging businesses with significant long-term potential
- Equity finance
$1 million will be invested in the Digital Partnership grants program to support local technology-focused innovations with growth potential, to create jobs and diversify the economy.
The remaining $92.5 million of the NTIDF will pay down debt.
The government said although every effort was made by the board of NTIDF, it was “not the right time for a fund of this type if we want the investment to hit the ground now”.
The NTIDF Board has agreed to dissolve the NTIDF in an orderly manner, and will work with the investment manager, ICG and NTG to ensure its smooth closure.
NT Treasurer, Nicole Manison, said, “The Territory Government’s number one priority is to create local jobs.
“The new fund will invest in projects that create local jobs quickly.
“We know that many Territory families and businesses continue to do it tough — and the best way we can help is to get projects out of the ground, drive innovation and support local businesses to create jobs.”
ABC News reported on 30 November that there had been “growing controversy over the fund’s effectiveness”, and that only one $10 million investment had been made in the last two years.