Investment Guidelines

NAIF is a key participant in the Australian Government’s agenda to unlock the potential of northern Australia for the benefit of all Australians.

Pilbara Minerals Limited’s Pilgangoora Operations in Western Australia

NAIF plays a pivotal role in the Australian Government’s initiative to unlock the potential of northern Australia. Our mission is to provide financing support to businesses by funding and encouraging private sector investment into projects that will facilitate economic growth.  

To be considered for financing by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), your project must meet the mandatory criteria outlined in its Investment Mandate. These criteria require that your project: 

  1. Involves the development or enhancement of infrastructure. 
  2. Is of public benefit 
  3. Is located in, or provides significant benefit to, northern Australia 
  4. Can repay or refinance NAIF’s debt (for debt finance) 
  5. Has an Indigenous Engagement Strategy 
  6. Can generate a return to the government (for equity investments) 

We can finance a wide range of projects, including physical structures, assets, technology, or facilities that contribute to the establishment or enhancement of economic activity in a region. Sectors that NAIF can support include resources, airports, ports and rail, agriculture, water, energy, social infrastructure (including property, tourism, education and health), manufacturing, and telecommunications. 

When assessing how much finance to provide to an eligible project, we’ll seek to implement a reasonable allocation of risk between NAIF and other sources of finance for the Project.  

Concessional financing tools 

We may also offer concessional financing tools, such as longer loan tenors, deferral of interest and principal repayments, security and/or cashflow subordination, and concessional pricing, where necessary for a project to proceed. 

Equity investments 

For equity investments, NAIF targets a portfolio return of at least the five-year Australian Government bond rate plus 3% per annum, before operating expenses. NAIF must also be satisfied that there are opportunities or mechanisms to exit or monetize the investment within the medium term. Concessional terms cannot be offered for equity investments. 


We can accept a higher risk than commercial lenders, particularly where the risk relates to factors that are unique to investing in northern Australia, including distance, remoteness, and climate.  

Our finance 

Our finance is not a grant, and proponents must be able to demonstrate an ability to repay or refinance all loans or debt finance. 


Your project must demonstrate public benefit beyond an economic return to the project proponent. If NAIF offers any concessional pricing or terms, the quantifiable value of the public benefit must exceed the value of concessions offered.  

Indigenous Engagement Strategy 

An Indigenous Engagement Strategy demonstrating objectives for Indigenous participation, procurement, and employment in the region of the project must be developed for each project financed by NAIF.