How & where we invest

Investment Guidelines

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) plays a pivotal role in the Australian Government's initiative to unlock the potential of northern Australia. 

NAIF Investment Team Indigenous Outcomes And Portfolio Management Staff At Cairns Headquarters

Our purpose is to provide financing support to businesses by funding and encouraging private-sector investment into projects that will facilitate sustainable economic growth. 

To be considered for financing by NAIF, your project must meet the mandatory criteria outlined in our Investment Mandate. These criteria require that your project:

  1. Involves the development or enhancement of infrastructure
  2. Is of public benefit
  3. Is located in, or provides significant benefit to, northern Australia
  4. Has an Indigenous Engagement Strategy (with the exception of the Indian Ocean Territories)
  5. Can repay or refinance NAIF's debt (for debt finance)
  6. Can generate a return to the government (for equity investments)

We can finance a wide range of projects, including physical structures, assets, technology, or facilities that contribute to the establishment or enhancement of economic activity in a region. Sectors that NAIF can support include resources, airports, ports and rail, agriculture, water, energy, social infrastructure (including property, tourism, education and health), manufacturing, and telecommunications.

When assessing how much finance to provide to an eligible project, we’ll seek to implement a reasonable allocation of risk between NAIF and other sources of finance. 

Concessional Financing Tools

We may also offer concessional financing tools, such as longer loan tenors, deferral of interest and principal repayments, security and/or cash flow subordination, and concessional pricing, where necessary for a project to proceed.

Equity Investments

For equity investments, NAIF targets a portfolio return of at least the 5-year Australian Government bond rate plus 3% per annum, before operating expenses. NAIF must also be satisfied that there are opportunities or mechanisms to exit or monetise the investment within the medium term. Concessional terms cannot be offered for equity investments.


We can accept a higher risk than commercial lenders, particularly where the risk relates to factors that are unique to investing in northern Australia, such as distance, remoteness, and climate. 

Our Finance and Requirements

Our finance is not a grant, and proponents must be able to demonstrate an ability to repay or refinance all loans or debt finance.

Your project must demonstrate public benefit beyond an economic return to the project proponent. If NAIF offers any concessional pricing or terms, the quantifiable value of the public benefit must exceed the value of concessions offered. 

Indigenous Engagement Strategy

An Indigenous Engagement Strategy demonstrating objectives for Indigenous participation, procurement, and employment in the region of the project must be developed for each project financed by NAIF (excluding Indian Ocean Territories).

Find out more

Whether you're interested in understanding our investment process, exploring the Investment Act and Mandate that guide our decisions, or utilising our Indigenous Engagement Strategy Toolkit, we've got you covered. Click on our quick links in this section to discover more about our mission and impact.

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