Infrastructure projects in the Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, collectively known as the Indian Ocean Territories (IOTs), will soon be eligible to apply for concessional loans and other financing support from the Federal Government’s $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said the IOTs being eligible for NAIF funding will open up exciting development prospects.
“The rate at which the NAIF is approving loans to major infrastructure projects across the north is accelerating, and the Coalition Government will provide additional funding to NAIF to help drive this investment,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The Indian Ocean Territories have so much potential to capitalise on, including sustainable tourism potential with their incredible biodiversity and landscapes.
“The significant progress already made and the number of projects in the pipeline means Australians in our nation’s north, including the IOTs, have an exciting future ahead,” Minister Littleproud said.”
Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald said the NAIF gives Northern Australia businesses a chance to invest in projects, expand their operations, employ more people and re-invest in their region.
“Australia’s north forms a vital part of our identity, national economy, and way of life and our Government is going to continue to stand by their side to grow and develop this great region,” Senator McDonald said.
Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino said the inclusion of the IOTs in the NAIF would incentivise private sector investment in the region and support businesses in the IOTs to diversify.
“There are exciting opportunities for the region, including tourism, and access to the NAIF will enable these businesses to tap into their natural competitive advantage and provide jobs for the future. I look forward to local business and industry engaging with the NAIF in coming months and years,” Assistant Minister Marino said.
“It is critical for businesses to take advantage of the groundwork we are laying with these initiatives.”
NAIF Acting CEO Amanda Copping said “NAIF is supporting projects right across the north and we are delighted that the expansion of our jurisdiction to include the IOTs will provide greater opportunities for NAIF to support economic development in the north.”
Businesses and community organisations in the IOTs are eligible right now to apply for grants under the Northern Australia Development Program and the Business and Community Growth Program. Grants of between $50,000 and $10 million are available to support business expansion and diversification, and between $50,000 and $2 million to improve community amenities and essential services.
For more information on the NAIF and other investments in northern Australia, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/regions/northern-australia