New bill

The Federal Government has introduced the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2023 to Parliament, in an effort to allow the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to provide more financial assistance to eligible projects across Northern Australia.

Queensland Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Madeleine King, introduced the bill to the House of Representatives to amend legislation surrounding the NAIF.

The bill, if passed, will fulfil the Federal 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, it clarifies the government’s expectation that the NAIF is empowered to provide financial assistance to develop economic infrastructure for the benefit of First Nations Australians.

Ms 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,” Ms King said.

“The 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.”

Ms King said the 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,” Ms King said.

“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.”

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