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Where is the Northern Australia infrastructure loan facility?
THE HON GARY GRAY AO MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA MEMBER FOR BRAND
WHERE IS THE NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE LOAN FACILITY?
Shadow Minister for Northern Australia the Hon Gary Gray AO MP called for the Government to explain the lack of detail and the delay around its big ticket $5 billion infrastructure loan facility for Northern Australia.
“The Government had promised that project proposals for its $5 billion concessional loan facility would be accepted from 1 July 2015,” said Mr Gray.
“Yet here we are on 1 July, and the Government is yet to release eligibility criteria around the type of infrastructure that will be supported and the financial criteria that need to be met.
“Even the geographic eligibility criteria are up in the air with uncertainty around what is meant by ‘Northern Australia’. The areas identified in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit are noted as only the ‘starting point’ for determining geographical eligibility.
“This loan facility was announced as part of the Government’s 2015-16 Budget, and was also touted in the Northern Australia White Paper that was released on 18 June.
“The Government has built up expectations around its Northern Australia policies, particularly this loan facility. But the Government has not followed through with its announcements.
“We still have no information on how loans will be prioritised and what the money will be spent on.
“As I have said, the White Paper deserves serious consideration, and it is encouraging that the Federal Government is focusing on Northern Australia’s potential. Labor looks forward to working with the Government to achieve this.
“However, the White Paper is light in detail, and there is much work to do to translate big expectations into concrete, deliverable outcomes.”
WEDNESDAY, 1 JULY 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: TINA SAMARDZIJA 0429 666 520