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NAIF’s strategic approach is designed to deliver on its vision for the benefit of all stakeholders. It is focussed on its ultimate function of delivering economic and population growth into northern Australia, NAIF tailors its strategy for originating infrastructure projects to maximise the impact that NAIF can achieve and to provide as much support as early as possible to bring that impact forward.

At the time of writing, the NAIF Act provides for the making of Investment Decisions up to 30 June 2021.

In accordance with its vision, NAIF’s focus is on accelerating projects through the NAIF assessment process as quickly as they are ready to proceed for investment decisioning within the period to that date.

The legislative review of operations, required under section 43 of the NAIF Act is currently underway and will cover among other things:

  • whether the time limit of 30 June 2021 for making decisions to provide financial assistance should be extended; and
  • appropriate governance arrangements for NAIF after that date.

NAIF will review its strategy once the outcomes of the legislative review is known.

Figure 1: A clear and transparent strategy

NAIF's Strategy Overviewgraphical illustration of the four key pillars of NAIF's strategy as outlined in Figure 2.

Figure 2: NAIF's vision for each Strategic Priority Area

Strategic Priority Area

NAIF’s Vision

Tailored Origination

  • Assess
  • Catalyse
  • Stimulate

NAIF originates projects for assessment in different ways, assessing opportunities within a consistent framework. In all cases the proponent will be responsible for delivery of the project. The role of NAIF however, differs in each case as follows:

  • Assessing investment ready projects: These are projects which are well advanced and largely managed by the proponent. NAIF Executive will provide support and feedback through the assessment process.
  • Catalysing identified opportunities: These are likely to be already identified in some form but could benefit from NAIF taking a more proactive role in facilitating aspects of the project or project concept. For example, NAIF may be able to help catalyse a project by issuing a Board approved indicative conditional term sheet with a view to assisting the proponent in securing support of other project participants.
  • Stimulation of new opportunities: NAIF seeks to augment origination by contributing to the identification and evolution of iconic transformational projects that are unlikely to be brought forward through existing channels. These projects are likely to be highly challenging to deliver and beyond the capacity of a single proponent, but rather require alignment across a broad number of stakeholders. NAIF will look to build on its established relationships to contribute to these projects.

Effective, best practice risk management

  • Maintain a best practice Risk Management Framework (RMF) customised to the NAIF Act and Investment Mandate.
  • Use NAIF expertise to manage risk for each project within risk appetite limits and tolerances.
  • Support proponents as they establish or grow using NAIF patient capital and other finance concessions, as appropriate calibrating against the project’s estimated public benefit.
  • Be disciplined with taxpayers’ money. There is an expectation that NAIF funds will be repaid or refinanced and a requirement that the Commonwealth does not have the majority financial risk in a project.

High performance culture

  • Recruit experts with specialist origination, structuring and execution skills. Our origination and execution functions work alongside high quality corporate, Indigenous Engagement, reporting and communication functions. All NAIF staff must have commercial acumen, be agile, flexible and able to engage seamlessly with multiple stakeholders.
  • Implement best practice governance frameworks, policies and procedures, which are periodically independently benchmarked against best practice in the public and private sector.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Ensure that NAIF’s purpose, value proposition and achievements are understood by key stakeholders.