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NEW FIGURES SHOW NAIF IS STILL THE “NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND”

October 29, 2020

SENATOR MURRAY WATT

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISASTER AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

 LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

 

NEW FIGURES SHOW NAIF IS STILL THE “NO ACTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND”
 

The people of Northern Australia have been left behind once again because of the Morrison Government’s preference for announcements over delivery.
 
New figures released by the Government at Senate Estimates today show the Morrison Government has released less than 5 cents for every dollar promised under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) scheme since it was announced five years ago.
 
Little wonder the NAIF is roundly referred to as the No Actual Infrastructure Fund in the north.
 
When the $5 billion NAIF was announced five years ago, the Government promised it would turbo-charge growth and job opportunities in North Queensland and Western Australia, as well as the Northern Territory.
 
But five years on, only $218 million, or 4.4 per cent, of the NAIF’s funds have been released. Only $10 million has been released in Queensland.
 
As things stand, it will take 116 years for the Government to release the total NAIF funds.
 
The Government says the NAIF is a “patient lender”. Northern Australians should not have to be patient for 116 years.
 
But while the NAIF has failed spectacularly to support the projects the Government promised, it has been exceptionally good at spending money on itself.
 
The Morrison Government has spent more than $31 million on administration costs and staff bonuses since the program was introduced.
 
And now, Budget papers reveal the NAIF expects to spend another $62 million on internal costs by the time the scheme finishes in 2025-2026.
 
That’s a total of $95 million - 9 times what it has spent in Queensland to date, and double what it managed to deliver for projects nationally in its first four years.
 
The Morrison Government has failed to deliver what it promised on the NAIF.
 
The Government’s Northern Australia agenda has turned out to be a prime example of what this Prime Minister loves most – a big flashy announcement, and zero follow through.
 

 
NAIF ADMINISTRATION COSTS TO DATE

 

ENDS

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA