It’s been more than a year since the Abbott/Turnbull Government first announced the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and still no funds have been spent or allocated to projects in the region.
In fact, only one formal application for funding has progressed to the due diligence stage. When asked whether funding would flow before the end of the year, Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan offered no guarantee:
I am hopeful that we will have projects funded very shortly, but I can’t make any guarantees or predictions.
Matt Canavan – ABC Rural – 30 September 2016
After shambolically rushing legislation through Parliament in the last sitting week before calling the election, Malcolm Turnbull spent his time promoting the NAIF in North Queensland throughout the campaign.
In May 2016 Malcolm Turnbull said:
The commitment to Northern Australia from our national economic plan is enormous. We have a $5 billion, Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund that will be providing loans across Northern Australia.
Malcolm Turnbull— Interview on ABC Far North Qld —18 May 2016
In June 2016 Malcolm Turnbull said:
Well our focus is on jobs, jobs and growth and particularly in Northern Australia. As you know, we have massive investment in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
Malcolm Turnbull— Interview on ABC Far North Queensland – 22 June 2016
Northern Australia deserves more than political posturing designed solely to prop up Malcolm Turnbull’s political fortunes. Residents and businesses are sick of a Prime Minister who is all talk.
With high unemployment across Northern Australia the Turnbull Government must begin to invest and create the sustainable jobs that locals need.
Today Labor is calling on the Turnbull Government to deliver on its promise and start investing in Northern Australia.
THURSDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2016