More than a year since the Abbott/Turnbull Government first announced the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) it has now been confirmed that not a single dollar has been spent or even allocated to projects in Solomon.
In last night’s Senate Estimates hearings, Northern Australia Minister, Matt Canavan again refused to say how long Solomon will have to wait for funding for job-generating infrastructure.
I can’t offer any conclusive information on that.
(Source: Matt Canavan, Senate Estimates hearing, 20 October 2016)
This follows the Minister’s confirmation last month that the Government had no idea when it would start funding projects:
I am hopeful that we will have projects funded very shortly, but I can’t make any guarantees or predictions.
(Source: Matt Canavan, ABC Rural interview, 30 September 2016)
This is despite the former Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg stating in May 2016 that “from July, this facility will provide financing to build the transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure needed in our north.” JOINT FRYDENBERG AND CANAVAN, MEDIA RELEASE, 4 MAY 2016
When asked to explain the hold up, the Minister had no answers for the local community in Solomon.
To add insult to injury, the Minister went so far as to say that from his perspective “…things are progressing as expected” and that the NAIF is “on track with absolute accordance with the announcement we had made.” (Source: Matt Canavan, Senate Estimates hearing, 20 October 2016).
Solomon deserves better than a Government that doesn’t bother to keep its promises.
The shambolic handling of the NAIF is yet another example of how Northern Australia continues to be let down by the Turnbull Government.
FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: KORENA FLANAGAN (CLARE) 02 9790 2466