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northern australia
The Pilbara landscape Image: Rio Tinto.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has received a further $2 billion in federal funding towards critical infrastructure projects across the mining and agriculture sectors.

The $5 billion (NAIF) will now become a $7 billion fund, as the government aims to increase jobs and growth in the region.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the community will begin to see the full benefits of the funding in the coming year.

“To date, $3.2 billion of NAIF financing has been committed, this funding is expected to create up to 11,000 new jobs and inject almost $16 billion back into the economy,” he said.

“The demand for NAIF funding continues to grow and it is likely to fully commit its current funding in the next year.”

NAIF has already been responsible for the construction of Alinta Energy’s Chichester solar gas hybrid project which helps to power Fortescue Metals Group’s Chichester iron ore hub in Western Australia. The Fund provided $90 million to this $188 million project.

It has also helped to fund Australian Potash’s Lake Wells sulphate of potash project, BCI Minerals’ Mardie salt and potash project, an access road for Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium project, and Strandline Resources Coburn mineral sands project.

Littleproud explained the reason for this year’s extra funding.

“An additional $2 billion will continue the prosperity to the north for generations to come and further delivers the government’s commitment to create economic development and drive investment in northern Australia across all sectors, from mining and agriculture to renewable energy, education and tourism,” Littleproud said.

Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Queensland Senator Susan McDonald, said the extra funding gave credibility to the region and would put confidence in private investors.

“We are getting private enterprises on board to invest in our north, because we know that public and private sectors working together will achieve sustainable and exponential growth,” McDonald said.

“NAIF is a critical tool in helping to deliver real outcomes under the Regions of Growth Master Plans outlined in Our North, Our Future: 2021-2026”