WA Minister Oversees Qld NAIF Fail
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson is calling on the Perth-based Labor Minister for Northern Australia to deliver more for North Queensland, after her home state was revealed as benefiting most from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
The Townsville Bulletin has reported 87 per cent of decisions this past financial year went to Western Australia.
Mr Thompson said North Queensland had been dudded by the new minister’s administration of the government-backed loan scheme for significant infrastructure, which was set up by the former Coalition government.
“When we were in government, we were announcing a new NAIF loan for Townsville a couple of times a year. Almost 18 months into this Labor government there have been none,” he said.
“These low-interest loans – which have to be paid back – have helped economy-boosting projects get off the ground the ground – projects which otherwise simply wouldn’t have happened.
“We funded $96M for the JCU Innovation Complex, $46M for their student accommodation, $20M for the Cowboys Community and High Performance Centre, $50M for the Townsville Airport and $19.75M for the Mater car park.
“For WA-based Minister King to hide behind the independence of the NAIF board is pretty poor. If the NAIF isn’t delivering across the whole of North Australia, there are ways she can intervene.
“It still doesn’t make sense to me that Labor couldn’t find a Minister for Northern Australia with any actual connection to Northern Australia, and this is an example of why it’s not working.”