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Eligibility criteria for NAIF finance are outlined in the Investment Mandate.

There are seven mandatory criteria for NAIF finance and preference will be given to projects which meet one or both of the non-mandatory criteria.

Mandatory Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The project involves the construction or enhancement of economic infrastructure
  2. The project will be of public benefit
  3. The project is unlikely to proceed, or only at a much later date, or with limited scope, without NAIF financial assistance
  4. The project is located in, or will have a significant benefit for northern Australia
  5. NAIF’s loan is not the majority source of debt funding
  6. The loan will be able to be repaid or refinanced
  7. Indigenous engagement strategy

Non-Mandatory Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The project is seeking finance from NAIF for an amount of at least $50 million
  2. There is an identified need for the project

Projects will need to demonstrate public benefit and a need for NAIF investment, involve construction or enhancement of economic infrastructure, have an Indigenous engagement strategy and effectively demonstrate that the loan will be able to be repaid. NAIF investment must not exceed 50 per cent of the total debt of the project. Projects do not need to be entirely within the boundaries of Northern Australia if they produce significant benefits for the north. For example, a project that enhances north-south connectivity may be eligible.

Other Considerations:

The Board must be satisfied that NAIF’s return on the facilities it advances will cover at least the Commonwealth’s cost of funding and NAIF’s administrative costs. The Board will also have regard to the potential effect of the project on other infrastructure and of the NAIF’s financing on the Australian infrastructure financing market and on the necessity of the NAIF investment to encourage private sector participation in financing the project.

Definition of Northern Australia:

For the purposes of the NAIF, northern Australia includes all of the Northern Territory, and those parts of Queensland and Western Australia above and directly below or intersecting the Tropic of Capricorn. It also includes the regional centres of Gladstone, the Gladstone Hinterland, Carnarvon and Exmouth, as well as the Local Government Areas of Meekatharra and Wiluna in Western Australia. Territorial seas up to twelve nautical miles offshore adjacent to these areas are also included in the definition.

Importantly projects financed by the NAIF do not need to be entirely within these boundaries if they produce significant benefits to Northern Australia. For example, a project that enhances north south connectivity may be eligible.

Northern Australia Map

Map of northern Australia as defined in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2016