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I am pleased to commend the 2019-20 Annual Report of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). This, our fourth full year of operations, has been our most successful to date.

NAIF is a critical participant in the Australian Government’s agenda to unlock the potential of northern Australia for the benefit of all Australians. We have a clear purpose to accelerate infrastructure development and thereby drive transformational growth in northern Australia by innovative financing that:

  • Generates public benefit;
  • Encourages longer-term growth in the economy and population of northern Australia;
  • Encourages private sector participation in the financing of northern Australia’s infrastructure needs; and
  • Facilitates sustainable Indigenous participation, procurement and employment outcomes.

Since opening our doors in July 2016, we have worked in partnership with proponents, helped crowd in private sector investment and engaged with capital markets to bring significant investment to northern Australia. Our loans have included support for projects in a range of sectors including education, health and social infrastructure, mining and resources, renewables, transport and the agriculture sector.

NAIF has made significant progress over the 2019-20 financial year, with the Board making 11 Investment Decisions to offer loans totalling $1.4bn, to support projects with a total capital value of $2bn.

On behalf of the Board I wish to particularly thank the NAIF staff for the adaptability and commitment which they have displayed in continuing to perform during the Covid pandemic. Throughout recent months they have continued the flow of investment decision recommendations notwithstanding the enormous challenges in doing so. This experience has placed the NAIF very well to be part of the Government’s and stakeholder jurisdictions’ agenda for post Covid recovery.