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Critical infrastructure

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The northern agenda is investing in improved infrastructure to make living and doing business in the north easier and more productive.

Better infrastructure allows our farmers, miners and other producers to get their products to markets more easily and reliably. It will also help grow the tourism industry.

Infrastructure Australia’s 2015 Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit identified key infrastructure needs across northern jurisdictions. The three northern governments have identified additional priority northern road projects.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

A $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) provides concessional loans to northern infrastructure projects. The projects will drive economic and population growth in the north.

In partnership with other lenders, NAIF finances infrastructure projects that help transform and provide public benefit for northern Australia.

View NAIF’s investment pipeline on its website.

NAIF review

We’re reviewing how NAIF’s reaching its objectives. Read the paper and have your say on our Consultation Hub.

See the government response to the senate inquiry into NAIF.

Upgrading remote airstrips

The government is upgrading regional and remote northern airstrips to improve access, particularly during the wet season, to:

  • essential medical services
  • education service
  • fresh food
  • employment

View the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

Better roads

The northern roads program includes an Australian Government commitment of $700 million across 37 road projects. The projects will:

  • improve safety
  • improve community access to services
  • better connect communities and producers to domestic and international market

This investment includes the Northern Australia Roads Program:

  • five projects worth $192.19 million in the Northern Territory
  • ten projects worth $223.8 million in Queensland
  • five projects worth $171.81 million in Western Australia

And, the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program:

  • two projects worth $30 million in the Northern Territory
  • fifteen projects worth $56.87 million in Queensland
  • one project worth $12.51 million in Western Australia

The Australian Government has committed an additional $160 million to seal and widen priority sections of the iconic Outback Way. The total commitment is now $330 million and will improve the safety and reliability of this route for pastoralists and tourists.

An additional $1.5 billion has been committed under the Roads of Strategic Importance announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

Stronger communities

The City Deals initiative is helping develop strong and resilient communities in the north that attract workers, families, businesses and investors.

The 2016 Townsville City Deal involves:

  • constructing the North Queensland Stadium
  • investing in renewable energy project
  • three major associated public–private joint investment projects:
    • the Ross River Solar Farm
    • the Kidston Solar and Pumped Hydro Project
    • the Kennedy Energy Park

The first Annual Progress Report for the Townsville City Deal was released in April 2018.

In May 2017, the Australian and Northern Territory Governments agreed to work together to create a Darwin City Deal.

The government’s Building Better Regions Fund and Regional Growth Fund are also supporting infrastructure improvements in the north.

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Last updated: 3 February 2020

Content ID: 42956