The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) was established on 1 July 2016 by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016 (NAIF Act). The NAIF is a corporate Commonwealth entity that provides financial assistance to the states and territories and other entities for the development of Northern Australia economic infrastructure.
The NAIF Act gives effect to the following:
- Establishment of Government bodies: the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Board (NAIF Board), and the NAIF:
- the NAIF Board is responsible for ensuring the proper, efficient and effective performance of the NAIF’s functions and deciding the strategies and policies to be followed by the NAIF, within the scope of the NAIF Act and the Investment Mandate; and
- the NAIF is responsible for determining the terms and conditions of the financial assistance and providing financial assistance to the states and territories and other entities for the development of Northern Australia economic infrastructure.
- Funds to invest: the Consolidated Revenue Fund was appropriated $5 billion for the purpose of the NAIF providing financial assistance to the states and territories and other entities for the development of Northern Australia economic infrastructure. The NAIF cannot make investment decisions after 30 June 2026.
- Investment Mandate: the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Northern Australia, as responsible Ministers are required to issue an Investment Mandate (detailed below).
The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility Investment Mandate Direction 2021 came into effect on 2 July 2021 and includes guidance on the following:
- the types of projects eligible for NAIF financial assistance (including new infrastructure or activities to grow the capacity of existing infrastructure);
- arrangements to support smaller projects through funding project proponents directly;
- what economic benefit may be considered a public benefit;
- types of concessions the NAIF can offer in its concessional loans products;
- the use of alternate financing mechanisms, including higher-risk instruments such as derivatives and equity investments; and
- the Government's expectations in regard to risk.
The NAIF Investment Mandate is a legislative instrument, which is not subject to disallowance.
Statement of Expectations and Statement of Intent
On 9 December 2022, the responsible Ministers issued a Statement of Expectations to the NAIF Board, as the accountable authority for the NAIF. This document provides strategic direction to the NAIF Board on the governance and performance of the NAIF.
The Chair of the NAIF Board responded on 9 February 2023 with a Statement of Intent, which commits the NAIF to high standards of governance, performance and transparency, in compliance with all applicable legislative frameworks.
The Statement of Expectations and Statement of Intent are accessible on the website of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
Financial Assistance from the NAIF
For queries regarding financial assistance provided by the NAIF, or if you are seeking funding from the NAIF, please refer to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility website. Queries on policy matters regarding the NAIF should be directed to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, which has primary portfolio responsibility for the NAIF.