Projects of prosperity in the North West could soon receive financial loans from the Australian Government, after the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) visited Mount Isa on Wednesday February 12.
The NAIF is a Commonwealth Government lending facility to finance projects to achieve growth in the economies and populations of Northern Australia and to encourage and complement private sector investment.
NAIF Chairman Khory McCormick said they were in Mount Isa for two reasons.
"The first reason is we travel to all the key places of northern Australia, and the second is the interest we have in some of the projects that are being proposed," Mr McCormick said.
"We see this area as a prosperous area for the NAIF and the CopperString project is obviously one of those projects that might be a candidate.
"The two primary dynamics for us giving out loan are that we must see that there will be a positive impact. The second is the project must need us to go ahead, with public benefit at the forefront of both of these."
So far the NAIF has invested more than more than $1.98 billion in investment decisions and conditional approvals for projects across Northern Australia as a whole, supporting projects forecast to create more than 5,200 jobs and more than $4.7 billion in public benefit.
Mr McCormick said with regard to investing into a Bradfield scheme, they needed proponents put in front of them and so far that had not happened.
"We have however been receiving more interest from agricultural proposals which involve water management," Mr McCormick said.
When queried on regional flight prices Mr McCormick said investment could possibly reduce costs.
"When we look at the issues surrounding expensive flights in the North West we can invest into airports which can create support services to bigger planes which could reduce the cost of flights," Mr McCormick said.
"It depends what the airports proposal would be, if it made it more efficient or more cost effective than maybe it could benefit ticket prices."
Mr McCormick said if Mount Isa Airport came forward with a proposal they would definitely look into it.
"The NAIF has already loaned $50 million to Townsville airport for the redevelopment and expansion of the terminals."
NAIF investment decisions are made by an independent Board who are supported by an experienced team of infrastructure financiers.
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