20 December 2018
Financial close has been reached on the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) $27.5m loan to Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia Pty Ltd (Voyages) for upgrades at the Connellan Airport at Yulara, Northern Territory.
Voyages, the operator of Ayers Rock Resort (ARR), will use the loan to fund improvements of runway, taxiway and apron facilities and to provide runway lighting along with contractor accommodation. It will provide new opportunities for Indigenous employment and businesses and complements existing loans including with ANZ and the Commonwealth Government.
The airport, owned by the Northern Territory Government, services the Yulara region and supports tourism to the world heritage Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park.
NAIF CEO Laurie Walker said “We are pleased to reach financial close on a loan to Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. The NAIF loan will boost the overall growth in tourism to Uluru and is essential in maintaining the airport’s role as a gateway for visitors to Ayers Rock Resort and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It will support up to 320 jobs and is forecast to generate economic benefits for the local community of up to $370 million over 20 years and will ensure emergency services can continue to service the region.”
The Voyages loan brings the value of NAIF Investment Decisions and Conditional Approvals to benefit the Northern Territory to close to $350m on projects across the aquaculture, tourism, transport and resource sectors. In addition to Voyages, this includes Humpty Doo Barramundi ($7.18m), NT Airports (conditional approval) $150m and Verdant Minerals (conditional approval) $160m.
Ms Walker added: “NAIF is delivering across northern Australia. NAIF has now made six Investment Decisions and six Conditional Approvals. The total value of NAIF investment across these 12 projects is $1.245bn. We are excited and committed to funding further projects in 2019 and will continue to work to support economic and population growth across the Territory, north Queensland and northern Western Australia”.
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