Article – Call for haste on infrastructure

by 10 May 2016

15 April 2016
Cairns Post

THE Turnbull Government needs to urgently pass legislation for the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) as soon as possible to give certainty to North Queenslanders before they go to an early election.

In Cairns yesterday, Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke called on the Federal Government to prioritise the important legislation.

“After years of inaction under Prime Minister Tony Abbott we’re not prepared to wait until after the federal election, North Queensland needs action now,” Mr Pitt said.

“Time is of the essence and we need the Federal Government to give tangible commitments to building industry, supporting economic activity and creating new employment opportunities here in Queensland. We’ve had no word on NAIF, no word on the Pacific patrol boat replacement contract for Cairns.” Ms O’Rourke said NAIF would create significant economic opportunities for North Queensland and Northern Australia “but we need to start seeing the benefit of these opportunities immediately”.

“I raised these concerns with Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan when I met with him last month and I hope he has listened.

“We now know the NAIF will be in Cairns, but we need certainty around the legislation that will underpin the scheme, so financing for projects and business cases can be put forward for assessment.“The Federal Government needs to do everything in their power to get the NAIF passed, so it can start operating from July 1.”

Courtesy of the Cairns Post

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