devleoping northern australiaMore than 20 major projects, from airports to new dams, are jostling for a share of $5 billion in funding for northern Australia that is expected to start flowing from July.

Legislation for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, announced in last year’s budget as a keystone policy arising from the government’s white paper for the north, is expected to be introduced in the next sitting week of parliament.

Minister for Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg told The Australian that at least 20 proposals so far had been put forward seeking government assistance through the scheme, which targets economic infrastructure.

“There is a strong degree of ¬interest both from governments and from the private sector,” Mr Frydenberg said. “The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will fuel the development of the infrastructure needed to see this vibrant region reach its full potential. As a result, all of Australia will benefit from increased jobs and economic activity.

“(We are targeting) economic infrastructure that stimulates economic growth, jobs, brings greater population to the north, that can be paid back, and projects that would not have been built ¬either at all or in a reasonable time frame.”

The secretariat for the new funding body will be based in the north, with Cairns touted as a leading option.

Mr Frydenberg has invited the Queensland, West Australian and Northern Territory governments to each put forward two names for the NAIF board.

Northern groups have welcomed the facility, which offers concessional loans and alter¬native financing arrangements, including guarantees. To read more at The Australian click here.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential will be held on 20-22 June 2016 at Darwin Convention Centre.

The Conference continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

Speaking opportunities are available to interested parties wishing to address delegates at the Developing Northern Australia Conference. To apply to speak at the conference CLICK HERE.