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. NAIF looks to support projects and businesses in northern Australia to facilitate economic growth and help catalyse private sector investment.

Is your project eligible?

NAIF can provide up to 100% debt finance for a project, subject to satisfying the five mandatory criteria in the Investment Mandate which require that the project must:

  1. Involve the construction or enhancement of infrastructure;
  2. Be of public benefit;
  3. Be located in, or have significant benefit for, northern Australia;
  4. Be able to repay or refinance NAIF’s debt; and
  5. Have an Indigenous engagement strategy.

The infrastructure that NAIF can finance is wide ranging and includes assets that facilitate the establishment or enhancement of business activity or increase economic activity in a region. Examples of the sectors that NAIF can support include, but are not limited to, resources, airports, ports and rail, agriculture, water, energy, social infrastructure (including property, tourism, education and health), manufacturing and telecommunications. Eligible projects must bring new capacity online either through the construction of new infrastructure or by materially enhancing existing infrastructure.

NAIF can provide up to 100 per cent of debt funding for an eligible project provided there is appropriate risk sharing and subject to the Commonwealth Government not being a majority risk taker for a project. Notwithstanding this, where possible NAIF seeks to “crowd in” other debt and equity financiers to support a project.

In providing financing to support the development of a project, NAIF seeks to utilise a number of financing tools including longer loan tenor, deferral of interest and principal repayments, security and/or cashflow subordination and concessional pricing. The financing tools provided for a project are determined on a project specific basis. NAIF 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.

NAIF projects must be of public benefit (being broad based and must demonstrate benefits to the broader economy and community), beyond those captured by a project proponent. In offering any concession pricing or terms, NAIF seeks to have regard to the extent of the forecast public benefit.

An Indigenous engagement strategy demonstrating objectives for Indigenous participation, procurement and employment, that reflect the Indigenous population in the region must also be developed by the proponent for each NAIF project.