The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Carnavan, has launched the headquarters of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) in Cairns.
The Government has set up the $5 billion initiative to help finance the transport, energy, water and communications infrastucture needs of the nation's north.
Minister Carnavan said at the launch that to date over 85 potential project proponents with an estimated total capital cost of almost $60 billion have expressed interest in the NAIF.
The types of these projects include:
The Government hopes that new infrastructure will become a fundamental driver towards realising the economic potential of the north.
Minister Carnavan said that the lack of finance expertise in the north was not a limitation. Instead, it presented an opportunity to establish a new industry in the north that would not only spread investment but attract investment too.
The launch of the NAIF in Cairns comes after the Government moved the Office of Northern Australia to Darwin, and the Northern Australia Cooperative Research Centre to Townsville.
It will be led by an independent Board, chaired by Sharon Warburton..