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Canavan's biggest NAIF loan under a cloud



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MURRAY WATT

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATURAL DISASTER AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

CANAVAN’S BIGGEST NAIF LOAN NOW UNDER A CLOUD

The biggest loan approved by Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan’s No Actual Infrastructure Fund is now under a cloud, with reports today that it will “lapse”.

It’s now a week since Genex Power’s $700 million Kidston pumped hydro project in North Queensland hit trouble, with Energy Australia stalling on its contract to buy power from the project.

The project is built on a $610 million loan from the NAIF - 87 per cent of the project’s value and almost half the loans approved by the NAIF overall.

Reports today indicate the NAIF loan will now “lapse”, leaving it to the Queensland Government’s new renewable generation company to save the project.

This is the second NAIF loan that is now in doubt. If the NAIF’s Genex loan falls over, it will leave a massive hole in the $1.2 billion in loans so far approved by Matt Canavan’s pet project.

This development raises more concerns about the NAIF’s operations, coming on top of other recent problems, including revelations that Matt Canavan:  Continues to promote a failed NAIF loan to a Western Australian mining company,

 Has only released 1 per cent of the NAIF’s $5 billion budget, four years after it was announced.  Has been reduced to re-announce funding in Darwin, to cover for the lack of progress with NAIF loans. Labor is highly supportive of the Genex pumped hydro project. It would create hundreds of jobs in North Queensland, and would provide large amounts of cheap, renewable energy to local industry.

We are, however, extremely concerned about the status of this $610 million NAIF loan.

Matt Canavan must clarify whether the loan is proceeding, or whether this is the second failed NAIF loan on his watch.

Genex’s troubles also show the consequences of the Morrison Government’s failure to come up with a stable energy policy. After 17 attempts, the Liberal National Government still has no sensible overarching energy policy to drive investment, create jobs, reduce emissions or cut power bills for struggling Australian households and businesses.

THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019

MEDIA CONTACTS: JANE WEBSTER 0427 722 214