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CEO Report

Ms Laurie Walkerphoto of Ms Laurie Walker

I am pleased to report on an exceptional period of delivery.

Delivering for northern Australia

Since NAIF’s establishment on 1 July 2016 up to 31 July 2019, NAIF has approved loans of more than $1.4 billion and is forecast to support over 3,600 jobs and around $2.6 billion in broad based public benefit. Every NAIF project will support important Indigenous engagement with many projects committing to Indigenous employment or procurement targets.

FY18-19 contributed significantly to those outcomes. In that period compared to FY17-18 there was an increase by 50 percent in the number of Investment Decisions (6), by 220 percent in NAIF loan commitments ($479 million) and by 318 percent in aggregate capital value ($1.4 billion) of projects supported.

NAIF is pioneering significant change. The $74 million loan to Kalium Lakes (Western Australia) will contribute to the creation of a new Australian domestic industry for Sulphate of Potash which is important to the agriculture sector. Our loan of $90 million to Alinta Energy (Western Australia) will create reliable low emission renewable energy generation for large off grid customers in the Pilbara. As a result, the daytime operations at Fortescue Metals Group's Chichester Hub will be among the first globally to demonstrate a large mining load can be up to 100 percent powered by renewables. The $95 million loan to Sheffield Resources (Western Australia) will help bring online one of the largest mineral sands deposits to be discovered globally in the last 30 years. NAIF continues to support the airport sector which is an important economic driver across tourism and industry with loans to upgrade Townsville Airport (Queensland) and the Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek airports (all in the Northern Territory). A loan was also approved for the lithium industry which while not proceeding demonstrates NAIF’s support for emerging minerals.

NAIF has successfully catalysed project progression through its strategy of issuing conditional terms sheets where appropriate. The Genex transaction which is for a loan of up to $610 million (around 12 percent of NAIF’s capital) is an example. The project is forecast to deliver $814 million of public benefit to the economy and community including estimated wholesale market energy cost savings of $500 million (present value). The Verdant Minerals Limited conditionally approved loan of $160 million has been important in attracting investment to develop Australia’s largest phosphate resource.

NAIF’s investments demonstrate it is applying its appetite for risk to help build market confidence to invest in the country’s most geographically dispersed regions, to leverage the region’s unique natural assets, create skilled job opportunities and enhance the liveability of northern Australia. That will be NAIF’s legacy.

As inaugural NAIF CEO I have been honoured to serve NAIF’s objectives and am extremely proud of NAIF’s achievements to date. I will leave the organisation with a high calibre team in place, a strong development pipeline and partnerships established across a broad stakeholder base.

Accounting and Budget

For the FY18-19 Financial Statements, the ANAO, NAIF’s external auditor, issued an unmodified audit opinion and confirmed the Financial Statements are fully compliant with Australian Accounting Standards and the PGPA Financial Reporting Rule 2015.

Ms Laurie Walker

Chief Executive Officer

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

20 September 2019