23 January 2018
Tourism is a key industry being considered by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, with 18 inquiries that are currently active.
CEO Laurie Walker said tourism infrastructure was especially important for northern Australia with its world class attractions.
“We have $5 billion to spend on infrastructure in northern Australia,” Ms Walker said.
“If a project meets our eligibility criteria the Facility’s $5 billion is available to be spent on tourism infrastructure projects. It’s not limited by industry.’
“We consider all tourism projects, that are eligible, as we do for projects in other industries.”
Ms Walker said tourism related infrastructure currently be considered by NAIF, includes:
- Walkways and eco-tourism infrastructure
- Airports and heliports
- Cruise ship ports
- Associated road, power, communications and water
“One of our mandatory criteria is that we have to be able to be repaid, so that makes it difficult to consider some projects, where there is a high risk of that not occurring,” she said
“The market that a project is competing in is relevant in that regard. Australian tourism projects need to be viable when considering lower cost international options.
“We expect to be able to contribute to significant tourism assets where there is a differentiated tourism offering.
“For example, we are seeing some really exciting projects which will offer strong indigenous cultural experiences.
“Some of these have the potential to become iconic and to bring into their northern jurisdictions broad economic benefits for the regional and national economies.
“We consider every inquiry that we receive on its merits and thoroughly investigate all the projects that fit our mandatory criteria.”
Ms Walker expected NAIF involvement in some tourism related projects would soon be announced.
“Anyone who knows infrastructure, knows that it takes time,” Ms Walker said.
“It can take at least two to three years from a project concept phase to when it reaches financial close.”
“This is true of tourism related projects as well as other major infrastructure.
“The 18 potential tourism projects are at various stages of the approval process, but we look forward to making announcements about more investment decisions in the near future.”