Bill Shorten has announced that if elected, the Labor Party will replace the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) with a new fund aimed at building nationally important infrastructure projects across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Labor’s Northern Australia Development Fund will provide a financing facility and work with Infrastructure Australia to identify and support projects of national economic significance – such as gas pipelines – in Australia’s north.
$1.5 billion will be set aside to unlock gas supply in Queensland’s Galilee and Bowen basins and connect the Beetaloo to Darwin and the east coast.
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Shorten said this project would support Darwin as a manufacturing and gas export powerhouse, increase supply to Queensland and the eastern seaboard and put downward pressure on prices for gas users.
Labor will also allocate $1 billion of the development fund to tourism projects in the north, appoint First Nation’s people to the new board and establish a memorandum of understanding with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Energy Security Modernisation Fund.