Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility appoints new Chief Executive Officer

  • 16 Dec 2019
  • Media Release

NAIF is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Chris Wade as the Chief Executive Officer of NAIF effective from 20 January 2020.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility appoints new Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Chris Wade as the Chief Executive Officer of NAIF effective from 20 January 2020.

Mr Wade, a senior investment official, will succeed NAIF’s inaugural CEO Ms Laurie Walker who guided NAIF through its initial establishment phases. He brings to NAIF extensive experience in developing and maturing investment businesses across sectors including infrastructure, renewable energy and property.

Previously an Executive Director with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Mr Wade is a Board member of Infrastructure Association of Queensland and previously held director roles with a range of infrastructure bodies.

Mr Wade will be based in Cairns where NAIF will continue to be headquartered.

NAIF Chair Professor Khory McCormick said: “On behalf of the Board we welcome Chris as the new CEO of NAIF. Chris has enjoyed an extensive career in infrastructure related roles and we believe he possesses the right competencies to take NAIF forward into our next exciting phase of developing and supporting key infrastructure investment across northern Australia.”

“As an organisation we collectively achieved much during Ms Walker’s three year tenure, particularly since the Mandate changes which resulted in greater finance assessment flexibility. With a number of important deals at advanced stages and NAIF moving to enhance the transformational and iconic project aspects of its operations, this is an exciting time for NAIF and for the North. We are delighted that Chris will lead the organisation’s highly committed and skilled team in this next period when NAIF’s delivery of ever increasing public benefit will be realised.”

Professor McCormick added: “A thorough executive search process was carried out to fill the role, with consideration of a number of impressive candidates. During the process it became clear that Chris’s combination of infrastructure experience, financial acumen and executive leadership skills form a compelling combination for steering the organisation through the exciting times and opportunities ahead.”

Professor McCormick thanked Ms Amanda Copping for performing as Acting CEO prior to the appointment of Mr Wade. Ms Copping will now return to her previous role as Executive Director, Origination.

“On behalf of the Board I express appreciation to Amanda for carrying out the role of interim CEO in recent months in a professional and effective manner. NAIF has continued to make Investment Decisions over recent months. This is great credit to the leadership of Amanda and the rest of the NAIF team. Amanda’s competency and interpersonal skills have meant momentum in project delivery has been maintained through this transition period.”

About NAIF

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is a Commonwealth Government lending facility to finance projects via the governments of the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia to achieve growth in the economies and populations of northern Australia and encourage and complement private sector investment.

Projects supported by NAIF are diversified across sectors including ports, airports, tourism, education, social infrastructure, agriculture, resources and renewable energy.

Every NAIF project will support important Indigenous engagement with many projects committing to Indigenous employment or procurement targets.



NAIF contact

Matt Pitman

0448 114 986

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