THE HON KEITH PITT MP
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia
Member for Hinkler
THE HON MICHELLE LANDRY MP
Assistant Minister for Children and Families
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Member for Capricornia
The Coalition Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has reached a milestone in its ongoing support to CQUniversity Australia (CQU), supporting the university as it repositions itself from the COVID-19 pandemic.
NAIF has responded with a $76 million loan to invest in CQU’s planned capital works and upgrades to digital infrastructure over the next two years.
The deal has now reached contractual close, an important milestone when proponents can start project design and construction, driving employment and economic growth.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the NAIF funding would be used at campuses across regional Australia, for construction work and refurbishments and to upgrade CQU’s digital networks to improve delivery of remote learning.
“NAIF has worked quickly to achieve contractual close to ensure CQU will be able to continue to deliver quality higher education courses to students around the country, particularly in remote centres across northern Australia,” Minister Pitt said.
“With NAIF’s investment, the University can now plan for the next two years and be ready to welcome back more students as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Coalition government is a strong supporter of development in northern Australia, to provide jobs and economic opportunities right across the north for the benefit of all Australians.”
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the NAIF contractual closure underlined the Government’s ongoing support in developing northern Australia.
“Since its inception, NAIF has committed more than $2.4 billion in projects across northern Australia, supporting around 8,000 jobs, and has reached contractual close on $1.1 billion of projects across the north,” Assistant Minister Landry said.
“In Queensland, NAIF has made 10 investment decisions valued at $1 billion across a range of sectors.”
Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity, Professor Nick Klomp welcomed the announcement.
“CQUniversity is intent on thriving, not just surviving, after the impacts of COVID-19, so we need to continue to invest, to keep delivering world-class education, training and research for years to come.
“That’s why we’re leveraging the NAIF loan to invest in capital works and digital infrastructure that will improve the student experience, enhance the quality of teaching and learning, and create new economic opportunities for the regions we serve.
“This is an exciting time to be a regional university and I thank the NAIF for their support, as we continue to build a university that will help propel the future prosperity of Northern Australia.”
Earlier this year, Minister Pitt announced a series of reforms which will speed up NAIF loan approvals and make it easier for suitable projects to qualify.
The Government has also announced an extension to the $5 billion facility to continue operations for a further five years until mid-2026.