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Article – Gina Rinehart dips in to pour funds into rowing

by 2 September 2016

25 August 2016
Simon King
The Australian

Rowing Australia will today announce a renewed partnership with Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, which is being described as “transformational” by its president.

Rinehart — who has already invested in the sport alongside the national swimming, synchronised swimming and volleyball teams — will, through Hancock Prospecting and the Georgina Hope Foundation, become the principal partner of Rowing Australia over the next four years.

“This is a significant and transformational investment for our sport. It’s the biggest, significant financial, commercial partnership we’ve had,” the president of ­Rowing Australia Rob Scott told The Australian.

Scott said the investment would primarily deliver direct ­financial support to all Australia’s elite rowers who attend the sport’s national training centres.

“It will help support their daily living expenses and also bringing us in-line, if not ahead, of the rest of the world in this regard,” said Scott, who is also the managing director of the industrial division at Wesfarmers.

“If you look at our past in rowing, a lot of the elite athletes have had to move state to state, year on year from different training venues and different coaches and that has not led to the best preparation.”

An ongoing problem for Australian rowing — and something Scott and his team have been at pains to address — is the fragmented, federated nature of the sport which sees athletes train with coaches away from any centralised team.

“It has also made it very difficult for them to hold down jobs or continue their studies,” Scott said.

“So providing this certainty with respect to the national training centres, firstly provides a world-class daily training environment but, importantly, it en­ables our athletes to have stability around location and the rest of their lives as well.”

Rinehart’s investment in rowing first came about last year when she funded a three-month Destination Gold camp at the nat­ional training centre in Canberra for all the Olympic qualified crews.

“That was big step forward for our team and through that process we got to know Hancock a lot better and Ms Rinehart got to know our athletes a lot better and she actually took an incredible personal interest in our rowers,” Scott said.

The second element to the new cash will be an investment in state-based pathways and development programs to grow the pipeline of potential elite rowers.

Scott, himself a two-time Olympian with a silver medal in the pair at the 1996 Atlanta Games, said the money meant the sport could get straight back to work after an Olympic Games that yielded Kim Brennan a gold medal in the single sculls and silver in both the men’s four and men’s quadruple sculls.

“In some sports, rowing included, it takes a while for the sport to get their act together post Olympics — we’ve already done the planning and we’re very keen to hit the ground running in the next couple of months to give our athletes the best opportunity,” he said.

Scott said he was happy with the improved Rio Olympic performance after Beijing yielded three silver medals and two bronze.

“With Kim winning our first gold medal for eight years and there being nine rowing medallists coming home, we’re really pleased with that result,” he said.

“We also increased our rating in the Olympic regatta from No 9 to No 4 on the rowing medal tally and that was a pleasing outcome.

“There are a number of our crews who would have liked to have better results on the day, which is understandable.

“It’s a relatively young team and we’re excited about the future opportunities for those athletes.”

That said, with Brennan likely to retire from the sport at an elite level, Scott and the team will need to find gold elsewhere.

“We are confident we can continue to improve our rowers — we want to be successful on the world stage and they want to win — our job in sport is to give them the best opportunity to do that,” he said.

“Whatever Kim decides to do, she will continue to be a huge inspiration for all rowers — and we don’t need to look much further than Kim Brennan for an example of what you need to do to be a gold medallist.

“Kim is not just a sensational athlete, she is also a fantastic individual and her result is the combination of many years of hard work from herself and her coach, Lyall McCarthy.”

That longer-term partnership, based at a national training centre in Canberra is the sort of stability Scott is trying to replicate for all the Olympic crews.

“The stable quality of coaching and daily training environment has certainly helped Kim, but there was not an athlete in the team who trains harder and is more determined than Kim Brennan,” Scott
said.

“Now in the future with an opportunity to have a better-quality training environment and more stability and certainty for athletes, combined with good support structures will certainly lead to better results.”

Gina Rinehart at a beach volleyball match at the Rio Olympic games.

Courtesy of The Australian

Article – They’re not just Olympians. They’re our future leaders.

by 2 September 2016

18 August 2016
Gina Rinehart
The Daily Telegraph

More than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries in one vibrant South American city. The Rio Olympics is one I won’t forget. And after years of assisting our wonderful Aussie athletes, nothing was going to stop me from cheering our teams on in Rio.

Gina Rinehart, with Australia’s beach volleyball players in Rio, says our Olympians are outstanding role models. (Pic: Supplied)

The great effort and sacrifices these young athletes make to compete at the world’s top level is truly inspiring. The qualities and characteristics that these athletes possess — the determination, tenacity, perseverance and drive — make them outstanding role models for Australians, and it is these qualities which make it clear why they are great ambassadors for our country and indeed could become future leaders of Australia.

They have got to being among the world’s best through their own hard work and efforts. It is no part of their ethos to think they are entitled to win — they know they should only earn medals and respect from their own hard work and efforts. They are champions competing against the entitlement culture so sadly affecting our country, and its future.

The improvement in culture from the London 2012 Olympics to now is clear and, at the time of writing for instance, swimming contributed 50 per cent of all gold medals to Australia’s Olympic team. And we came from the No.7 nation in swimming with one gold in London to the No.2 nation behind the US.

One only needs to look at how Cameron McEvoy, the favourite for the 100m freestyle, who said of fellow Australian Kyle Chalmers: “I had Kyle in this race and his success and his happiness. I can feel that and right now I’m kind of riding the wave that he’s on.” Team unity is paramount. This reminds me of the time-proven saying “united we stand, divided we fall”. Good on you, team.

The unity and bond between Australia’s Cameron McEvoy and Kyle Chalmers after Chalmers won the men’s 100m freestyle final was truly inspiring. (Pic: AFP/Odd Andersen)

There were also some very heart-touching moments for me. Getting a wave from Kim Brennan (gold medallist in the women’s single sculls) and many of the swimmers and synchronised swimmers either on their way to the competition or after their race, or even at times from the podium. Also to be made an honorary member of the synchronised swimming team, and to see them so happy to be at the Olympics when they greeted me in the stadium, was deeply touching.

Moments like these are magic. And the special moments continued outside the stadiums. I was at a function celebrating the rowing team and the father of a rowing silver medallist handed me a folded napkin with the words “Aussie rowers are ore powered”. Unfolding the napkin, I found he’d written a big ‘THANK YOU’ on the inside. Seeing at first-hand the pride, the happiness and the enthusiasm of the parents of these great Olympians are among the best memories I treasure.

It is more than a great pleasure to support our teams. I have only been able to undertake this through decades of very hard work in Australia’s mining industry. It’s given me great pride to see Australia punch so high above its weight, for instance, seeing our comparatively small country have multiple representatives per race qualify among the best athletes the world produces, in both semi-finals and finals. What an achievement. And then there’s medals!

And it’s wonderful hearing so many people comment how proud our Olympians’ ­efforts make them to be Australian. I’m hearing this from all over Australia, including our Outback.

Gina Rinehart cheers on Australia at a beach volleyball match at the Rio Olympics. (Pic: Supplied)

Despite the challenges of the Olympics this year, our Aussie Olympians have shone brightly.

I hope their inspiration as role models continues long past the Olympics. Although Michael Phelps is not an Aussie, his story as one of the Olympics’ best-ever athletes should not be missed. At school and university, I was told by an American, Michael was not in the popular group that most wanted to be in. He didn’t go to parties, he didn’t live it up. Sure, he made some mistakes but he pushed himself past them. And now, as he steps onto the podium to receive each medal, he has the world’s attention and respect, and enthusiastic applause from the many countries’ representatives present, not just the USA. The emotion on his face says it all. As for those partygoers and liver-uppers, who knows them these days?

And, Australia may have at least one athlete walking in Michael Phelps’ steps.

I sure hope so. How incredibly exciting.

Warmest congratulations to each Australian Olympic athlete.

What a country we could be if we became — on a far-reaching level — inspired by the role models our Olympians are.

Gina Rinehart is the Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group and patron of Swimming Australia, Rowing Australia, Volleyball Australia and Synchronised Swimming Australia

Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

 

The Rinehart Review, First Edition – Rio Games

by 1 September 2016

Welcome to the first edition of the Rinehart Review – and greetings from Rio!

The Olympics are incredible for spectators, but more importantly it’s about the world’s best athletes - athletes who’ve become the world’s best after years of outstanding efforts, discipline, dedication, hard training and persistence. With these attributes, they are great role models and ambassadors for our country.

As Patron for four sports – Swimming, Rowing, Volleyball and Synchronised Swimming – I know something of the athlete’s journey to Rio - a journey based on important life skills, hard work, great effort, self-discipline, dedication and persistence. I hope they put these skills to good use throughout their lives.

These attributes result in them being great role models for the lives of other Australians, not for their outstanding competition times and performances, but for these attributes that enabled them to reach world class.

 

 

SWIMMING

At the swimming, Mack Horton, Kyle Chambers and the Women’s 4×100 metre relay team shone brightly winning gold for Australia! At the time of writing, our swimming team contributed 50 per cent of all gold medals to our entire Olympic team in Rio. Congratulations to all of our swimmers and to Swimming Australia President Hon John Bertrand for his great support to improve the culture in the swim team since the London 2012 Olympics. Congratulations everyone!

And yes, that really is the Olympic Torch our famous swimming sisters and I were honoured to hold in the above photo. In the below photo I’m with Hon John Bertrand, President of Swimming Australia, after winning gold on the first night – a great start to the Olympics.

 

 

ROWING

Over at Lagoa Stadium, our rowers sped across the water to win 1 gold and 2 silvers making us the number 3 rowing nation at the games. Congratulations to rowing superstar Kim Brennan for winning gold in the women’s single sculls, where she lead the entire race – a fantastic effort.

Despite difficult weather conditions where boats capsized, Kim rowed very strongly to qualify for the final. I am delighted that Kim was selected to be the flag bearer for the closing ceremony. Warm congratulations also to our men’s quadruple sculls team and the men’s coxless four team on winning silver. Congratulations rowing teams and all Aussie Olympic rowers!

Below is Kim’s gold medal – much heavier than I realised. Next photo below is the Rio rowing course, isn’t it beautiful? And further below, I’m with Taddie and more green and gold! I think the Brazilians were extra friendly to us Aussies because we wear green and gold too!

 

 

VOLLEYBALL

With the iconic Copacabana beach in the background, our beach volleyballers put in a terrific effort, taking on some of the world’s best teams. I especially enjoyed Mariafe and Nicole’s stunning match against Switzerland, where their huge efforts took them to a very close tiebreaker and several match points! Congratulations also to Louise and Taliqua on making it to the Quarter-Finals against the US – we watched some really hard fought and very close matches!

I also especially enjoyed spending time with our team at Volleyball House in Rio and meeting their families – thank you, and being encouraged to throw and catch a few balls straight after a night game at the Cococabana Stadium, running in that sand sure isn’t as easy as the fantastically fit girls make it look!

 

 

 

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING

And, warm congratulations to our wonderful synchronised swimmers Bianca, Nikita, Cristina, Deborah, Danielle, Amie, Hannah, Emily and Rose. Different to the other sports, our synchronised swimming team receive no government funding whatsoever, with their parents especially supporting them for years, and they are also the youngest team with an average age of under 20.

The two in swimsuits below were still wet from just completing a beautiful performance in the pool. The kangaroo on the family of the synchronised swimmers T-Shirt I was given even has a clip on its nose like the swimmers! It was lovely to see the mothers with their daughters rush up for photos with our girls, or should I say, stars, after their competition, wanting I believe, inspiration for their daughters. 

In the history of Australia’s participation in the games, only 34 synchronised swimmers have ever qualified for the Olympics, 9 of whom competed in Rio this month, and 8 of these for their first Olympics. A fantastic effort. And for those who are West Australians, I’m proud to say, the majority of the team are from West Australia. And also proud to say, hopefully our sponsorship of WA Synchronised Swimming, which we started prior to our national sponsorship, may have helped our girls on their journey to Rio.

Photos below were taken at the pool and stadium with our wonderful girls.

 

 

Warmest congratulations again to all of our teams who represented Australia at the Olympics, especially for their efforts and sacrifice over many years to be able to do so.

Article – Gina Rinehart: Australia’s biggest Olympic fan

by 8 August 2016

30 July 2016
Financial Review

John Bertrand calls her the “matriarch” of the Australian Olympic team.

Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has quietly become the biggest individual financial supporter of Australia’s Olympic efforts as the team heads to Rio de Janeiro for next week’s Games.

Rinehart has emerged as a sponsor of four Olympic sports, putting in an estimated $5 million annually – more than any other individual and more than most corporate backers.

Having long had an interest in swimming, a sport that her children competed in at state level in Western Australia, Rinehart had been a sponsor of the WA and Queensland state teams before stepping up to become a big sponsor of Swimming Australia in 2012.

Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations to swimmer Cate Campbell in July when she broke the world record for ...

Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations to swimmer Cate Campbell in July when she broke the world record for the 100 metres freestyle. Delly Car

A year later Rinehart became a patron and backer of Volleyball Australia, and in the past 18 months has also begun sponsoring Rowing Australia and Synchro Australia, the governing body of synchronised swimming.

Financial hole

Australia’s richest woman will also be a notable presence in the stands in Rio when competition begins next weekend, criss-crossing the city to cheer on Australian swimmers alongside Bertrand, the president of Swimming Australia, and synchronised swimmers at the Aquatics Centre in Rio’s south, beach volleyballers on iconic Copacabana Beach and the rowing team on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in between.

Bertrand – president of Swimming Australia – says Rinehart’s sponsorship of his organisation helped dig it out of a financial hole after previous sponsor Energy Australia dropped the organisation after a scandal-plagued London Olympics, while Volleyball Australia president Craig Carracher says several female volleyballers would not have made Rio without Rinehart’s support.

Gina Rinehart  with the 2016 Australian Rowing Team. "The culture of the team and ethics around it is important to ...

Gina Rinehart with the 2016 Australian Rowing Team. “The culture of the team and ethics around it is important to Gina,” says Rowing Australia president and Wesfarmers executive Rob Scott. Supplied

“Gina has been a game-changer for us,” says Bertrand. “Sure, Hancock Prospecting gets its name poolside. But for Gina this is about giving back to Australia. She sees these swimmers as future leaders, and there’s a message about resilience of overcoming setbacks that resonates with her, and they can see common ground given what she has done in business.”

“She gets sport and wants to help Australian sport,” says Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie. “She’s a very proud Australian and she’s been doing this in a very quiet and unassuming way. She’s also done it at a time when she’s had substantial challenges with the Roy Hill project and the iron ore sector has been under a huge amount of pressure.”

Several of Australia’s top Olympic hopes got to see Roy Hill with their own eyes in April, when Rinehart flew a group in a private jet to the giant project in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Among those on the tour were swimmers Cate Campbell, to whom Rinehart sent a personal note of congratulations in July when she broke the world record for the 100 metres freestyle, and Mack Horton, who praised Rinehart on live national television after competing in the Australian Olympic qualifiers weeks after the trip.

Nikki Laird (left), Gina Rinehart (middle), and Mariafe Artacho del Solar after winning a beach volleyball event at ...

Nikki Laird (left), Gina Rinehart (middle), and Mariafe Artacho del Solar after winning a beach volleyball event at Scarborough Beach in Perth. Owen Hammond

Special dinner

There were also rowers, synchronised swimmers and volleyballers along for the ride, which included a special dinner under the stars at Uluru and then another plane ride for a gathering at the Opera House in Sydney.

The athletes were also presented with a copy of Gina’s 2015 book, Northern Australia and then some, and swapped stories about leadership and overcoming obstacles and goal-setting.

“The only thing that Gina wants is to give the athletes a platform so they can be the best they can be,” says volleyball’s Carracher. “She realises that they might find themselves in a position of real leadership in 20 years’ time, so she really wants to support them.”

In June, Rinehart jumped on a plane during the weekend of her daughter Ginia’s wedding on Hamilton Island to fly to Cairns to celebrate the second women’s team to qualify for the beach volleyball in Rio. Rinehart landed, spent an hour and a half with the team, and then flew out again.

During a recent trip to Europe Rinehart spent time with the Australian Rowing team at its training camp at Varese, near Milan. “The culture of the team and ethics around is also important to Gina and not just being associated with who has the best chance of winning gold medals,” says Rowing Australia president and Wesfarmers executive Rob Scott.

Major factor

The synchronised swimming team has a design featuring Sturt’s Desert Pea on their uniforms, the same flower found on the logo of Rinehart’s Georgina Hope Foundation. “It is nice to know there’s a sponsor and a person like Mrs Rinehart cheering us on,” said team member Bianca Hammett in a video thanking the billionaire for her support on Rinehart’s official website.

Rinehart’s Olympic financial support has been a combination of sponsorship by her Hancock Prospecting mining business, including having naming rights for events such as the swimming team’s Olympic trials in Adelaide in April, and direct payments to athletes via the Georgina Hope Foundation. The latter was a major factor in Rinehart being awarded an Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee in 2014.

At least 120 swimmers are said to directly receive up to $40,000 per year from the foundation, depending on their world ranking, and Rinehart also funds young swimmers and university scholarships.

“The question is, why does she do this?” says Bertrand. “Well, I think she loves the concept of Australians taking on the world. She gets a great sense of satisfaction seeing these people go out and do their best.”

Gina Rinehart has ploughed money into major events and been closely connected with competitors.

Courtesy of the Australian Financial Review

Article – You’re All Mugs: Australia’s Richest Woman Attacks ‘Coward’ Politicians

by 20 June 2016

18 June 2016
Jennifer Sexton
The Daily Telegraph

Australia’s richest woman has unloaded on our federal politicians, declaring neither side of politics has the “guts” to tackle our nation’s most pressing problem — too much government spending.

Gina Rinehart told The Saturday Telegraph that Australia must urgently cut government spending to get the economy back on track. In a rare foray into political commentary, Ms Rinehart said it didn’t make sense that India could cut red tape but Australia couldn’t.

To read the complete article, click Debt and red tape.

Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

 

Article – We Can’t Afford Big Government

by 20 June 2016

18 June 2016
Gina Rinehart
The Daily Telegraph

The most significant issue that is being overlooked in the federal election campaign is the increasing size of both levels of government in Australia, and the very high cost of their approvals, permits, licences and compliance.

Despite the Australian economy benefiting from the strong commodity prices of the past decade, record government debts were created, partly due to increasing government size and the cost of increasing regulation and compliance burdens.

Australia must act more urgently in this commodity prices crash to significantly cut the costs of doing business to ensure that we stay competitive internationally, and protect the living standards that we enjoy today.

Yet there is one giant cost slab that isn’t decreasing: government.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Australia has the fastest growth in government spending among 17 comparable countries and the third highest growth in net government debt among 17 comparable countries. Based on the IPA’s calculations, government red tape is Australia’s largest industry.

To read the complete article, click Daily Telegraph Article by Gina Rinehart.

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

Article – Sharon Warburton to lead board tasked with growing the north

by 20 June 2016

10 May 2016
Sid Maher
The Australian

West Australian company director Sharon Warburton has been named as chairwoman of the $5 billion Northern Australia ­Infrastructure Facility, which will begin operations from July.

Ms Warburton is a director of Fortescue Metals Group, Wellard Limited, Western Power and a member of the Takeovers Panel and will head the six-person board charged with assessing ­applications for the $5bn fund.

The board was announced after legislation to set it up was passed in parliament last week.

The government has also announced it will expand the area covered by the facility to include Exmouth and Carnarvon and the local government shires of Meekatharra and Wiluna, in WA.

Other members of the board include Barry Coulter, a former Northern Territory deputy chief minister, lawyer and investment banker Justin Mannolini, chairman of the board of governors at the WA Museum Foundation, Khory McCormick, a lawyer and the vice-president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, and Sally Pitkin, who is a director of Billabong, Super Retail Group and Star Entertainment Group.

Bill Shannon, the former mayor of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council in far north Queensland, and Karla Way-McPhail, chief executive of a number of northern Australian mining and training firms, are also members of the board.

Minister for Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said: “This ­facility will provide ­financing to build the transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure needed in our north. This will create jobs, enhance investment and unlock the full potential of this vibrant region to grow the northern Australian economy.’’

Ms Warburton will work with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to identify a pipeline of potential projects.

Sharon Warburton will work with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to identify a pipeline of potential projects.

Courtesy of The Australian

NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY PASSES THE PARLIAMENT

by 20 June 2016

4 May 2016

Legislation to establish the Government’s $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has passed the Parliament enabling it to commence from July.

This important initiative is a cornerstone of the Northern Australia White Paper, which sets out the Government’s development plan to unlock economic and population growth opportunities across the north.

As recently announced, the facility will be headquartered in Cairns, Queensland.

Contributing over 11 per cent of Australia’s GDP and with 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass, northern Australia still only has five per cent of our population, highlighting its enormous economic growth potential.

“From July, this facility will provide financing to build the transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure needed in our north. This will create jobs, enhance investment, and unlock the full potential of this vibrant region to grow the northern Australian economy,” Minister Frydenberg said.

The Government has also extended the coverage of the $5 billion NAIF. Following detailed consideration, and strong representations from the Member for Durack, Melissa Price, the facility will now include the wider areas of Exmouth and Carnarvon and the local government shires of Meekatharra and Wiluna, in Western Australia.

“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility continues the legacy of other great nation building initiatives that Australian governments had taken in the past, like the Snowy Mountains scheme and interstate railways. The Commonwealth Government, in partnership with state and territory governments and the private sector, has over our history done a lot to develop specific areas of our country and left a great legacy for future generations. The NAIF builds on this tradition. It will play an important part in providing basic infrastructure across northern Australia for new investment, creating more jobs,” Minister Canavan said.

The Government has also announced the independent board that will make the investment decisions for this facility and finalised the Investment Mandate by which investment decisions will be governed.

“We have chosen an outstanding board with extensive experience and expertise across a range of sectors and skills. They are also knowledgeable and passionate about the opportunities and challenges we face in developing Australia’s north and now, with the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, they have an important opportunity to turn the Government’s vision into a reality,” Minister Frydenberg said.

Ms Sharon Warburton (WA) has been appointed Chair designate of the board and from July, she will be joined by:

  • Mr Barry Coulter (NT)
  • Mr Justin Mannolini (WA)
  • Mr Khory McCormick (QLD)
  • Dr Sally Pitkin (QLD)
  • Mr Bill Shannon (QLD)
  • Ms Karla Way-McPhail (QLD)

These board members bring a strong understanding of northern Australia along with extensive experience in their respective fields, including in infrastructure, government, finance, and the law.

Ms Warburton will immediately begin working with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to identify a pipeline of potential projects to ensure decisions on project finance can be made following the establishment of the facility.

The board’s investment decisions will be governed by an Investment Mandate.

Following the release of a draft mandate for public comment in March 2016, consultation took place with more than 75 stakeholders, including financiers, project proponents, construction and infrastructure sector experts, Indigenous organisations, and the Queensland, Western Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

The Investment Mandate will include the following criteria:

Mandatory Criteria

1. The proposed project involves construction or enhancement of economic infrastructure.

2. The proposed project will be of public benefit.

3. The proposed project is unlikely to proceed, or will only proceed at a much later date, or with a limited scope, without financial assistance.

4. The proposed project is located in, or will have a significant benefit for northern Australia.

5. The Facility’s loan monies are not the majority source of debt funding.

6. The loan will be able to be repaid, or refinanced.

7. The project includes an Indigenous engagement strategy.

Non-mandatory Criteria

1. The proposed project is seeking financing from the Facility for an amount of $50 million or more.

2. The project has been identified through a previous Commonwealth, State or Territory assessment process, pipeline, or priority list.

Further information about the NAIF, including the Investment Mandate, can be seen at: www.industry.gov.au/naif

NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY EXTENDED

by 20 June 2016

4 May 2016

The Government has extended the coverage of the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

Following detailed consideration, the facility will now include the wider areas of Exmouth and Carnarvon and the local government shires of Meekatharra and Wiluna, in Western Australia.

“Melissa Price has been integral to the extension of this facility by making strong representations on behalf of her constituents. This facility will help fund key economic infrastructure that will create jobs, enhance investment and grow the northern Australian economy. Western Australia represents a significant part of our north and will directly benefit from seeing this important facility established,” Minister Frydenberg said.

It is important to note that projects do not need to be entirely within the defined boundaries if they produce significant benefits to northern Australia, such as enhancing north-south connectivity.

Further, as noted in the Investment Mandate, the facility’s independent board, in making an investment decision, must consider a preference for a diversified portfolio with respect to geographical spread across the states and the Northern Territory.

“While the Tropic of Capricorn is often cited as the boundary between north and south, there are population centres and regions that are naturally considered part of northern Australia, like Gladstone in Queensland and Exmouth, Carnarvon, Shark Bay and the Gascoyne in Western Australia. These locations are all now specifically included in the NAIF legislation passed by the Parliament,” Minister Canavan said.

“I will continue to ensure the people in the north are represented strongly and loudly in Federal Parliament. There have been a number of new initiatives for the North West since this Government was elected, and I look forward to delivering more projects to the region for many years to come,” Ms Price said.

This facility is integral to the Government’s plan for the north and is a cornerstone of the Northern Australia White Paper. The NAIF will support the growth and establishment of infrastructure projects across the north, helping this vibrant region to reach its full potential.

Further information can be seen at: www.industry.gov.au/industry/Northern-Australia-Infrastructure-Facility

Article – Dissent over WA exclusion

by 13 June 2016

29 April 2016
Phoebe Wearne
The West Australian

The heads of all Gascoyne councils and the development commission have written to Federal MPs to protest against the region’s exclusion from a Federal definition of northern Australia that favours Queensland and the Northern Territory.

While the gas-rich city of Gladstone in the Sunshine State has been included in the Turnbull Government’s definition of northern Australia, key WA towns have been snubbed.

The decision puts Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Denham and surrounding areas at a multimillion-dollar disadvantage because inclusion in the definition is a condition for being considered for a $5 billion loan scheme for infrastructure that was rushed through the House of Representatives last week.

For an unexplained reason, a small piece of WA above the Tropic of Capricorn has been excised from the legislative definition of northern Australia.

Yet the boundary has been extended below the Tropic of Capricorn to include all the NT and Gladstone in Queensland.

The letter, signed by the chairmen of the Gascoyne and Pilbara development commissions and shire presidents of Upper Gascoyne, Carnarvon, Exmouth and Shark Bay, calls for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill, now before the Senate, be amended to “respect and acknowledge WA’s north-west” by including the Gascoyne.

“The Tropic of Capricorn boundary creates unnecessary problems and complications in WA and seriously disadvantages the Gascoyne region,” the letter says.

Federal Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan, who is deputy chairwoman of the joint select committee on northern Australia, has proposed an amendment to the Bill to include all areas above the Tropic of Capricorn and Carnarvon and yesterday wrote to Premier Colin Barnett asking him to join the campaign.

“Given the financial advantage that is attached to being included as part of northern Australia, this is an outrageous economic gerrymander,” Ms MacTiernan said.

Carnarvon fruit and vegetable grower Michael Nixon said the new definition had the potential to set Carnarvon up for long-term failure.

Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility was great news for WA, with a “significant part of the State” in the running for concessional loans for infrastructure.

He said it was disappointing Ms MacTiernan had not previously raised the matters with him.

Courtesy of the West Australian