More than 1000 days after the creation of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, the organisation has yet to refer a single major project to Infrastructure Australia for formal assessment.
The NAIF, a $5 billion fund created by the Federal Coalition Government to finance the construction of job-generating infrastructure in Northern Australia, is required to consult with Infrastructure Australia before providing loans for any project valued at more than $100 million.
But this week at a Senate Budget Estimates hearing, Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Officer Philip Davies said: “We have had no formal submissions from NAIF to date’’.
The NAIF is a dud that is fast-becoming a joke. A more accurate name for this organisation would be the No Actual Infrastructure Fund.
The people of Northern Australia need well-paid, secure jobs. The right infrastructure projects will stimulate the investment needed to create those jobs.
But the Coalition’s chosen vehicle to drive this growth has produced nothing, and its only expenditure has been on executive salaries and perks for its board members.
By contrast, Labor is rolling out serious plans for infrastructure investment, including the establishment of the $1 billion Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund to provide financing and concessional loans to build new tourism infrastructure.
Last week, Labor also committed to widen the channel at the Townsville Port, build the second stages of the Gladstone Port Access Road and Mackay Ring Road and deliver the Rookwood Weir to provide 2000 agriculture jobs in the Lower Fitzroy.
These are real projects that will deliver real infrastructure in Queensland and make a real difference to the lives of people in our nation’s north.