Nation-building Funds

The Nation-building Funds (NBF) were established on 1 January 2009 by the Nation-building Funds Act 2008 External Site(NBF Act). The purpose of the NBF is to provide financing to critical areas of infrastructure. The NBF includes;

  • the Building Australia Fund (BAF) which support the creation or development of infrastructure in the areas of transport, communications, eligible national broadband network matters, energy and water; and
  • the Education Investment Fund (EIF) facilitates the creation or development of infrastructure in the areas of higher education, research, vocational education and training, and other eligible education.

The NBF previously included the Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF). The HHF was closed on 29 October 2015 and the uncommitted balance of the HHF was transferred to the Medical Research Future Fund.


The NBF Act gives effect to the following:

  • Investment Mandate: the responsible Ministers are required to issue an Investment Mandate (detailed below).
  • Crediting amounts to the NBF: the responsible Ministers may make credits to the NBF. For information on the credits, refer to the Investment Performance and Financials webpage.
  • Debiting amounts from the NBF: the Finance Minister, can authorise disbursements (debits) from the NBF, on the recommendation of the relevant portfolio Minister. For a list of commitments, refer to the projects page.

Investment Mandates

The responsible Ministers provided the Future Fund Board of Guardians (Future Fund Board) with strategic investment guidance through a written direction for each of the NBF. These are a legislative instrument that is not subject to disallowance.

The Building Australia Fund Investment Mandate Directions 2009 and the Education Investment Fund Investment Mandate Directions 2009 were issued on 14 July 2009. It requires the Future Fund Board to adopt a benchmark return of the “Australian three-month bank bill swap rate +0.3 per cent per annum, calculated on a rolling 12-month basis (net of fees)”. In targeting this benchmark return, the Board must minimise the probability of capital losses over a 12-month horizon.

Contact information on this page: Funds and Superannuation Branch

Last updated: 05 September 2019