In response to the first loan announcement from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to aid the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner, Basha Stasak, said:
“This announcement confirms our worst fears that the NAIF is a slush fund for the dirty fossil fuel industry. Instead of investing in more polluting oil, gas and coal infrastructure, our government should be backing projects in northern Australia with a long-term future like clean energy, tourism, healthcare, education and communications.
“NAIF shouldn’t be making any investment decisions while it is the subject of a Senate inquiry and potential assessment by the Auditor-General. There are critical flaws in NAIF’s transparency, design and operation. It is a broken organisation that lacks fundamental checks and balances and requires major reform.
“At the same time as this announcement, NAIF is considering whether to bankroll Adani’s dirty coal project with a massive $1 billion handout of public money. These fossil fuel projects will hasten global warming, contribute to further coral bleaching and threaten our Great Barrier Reef and northern Australian communities.
“Australians should have no confidence in an organisation that has pledged its allegiance to the polluting fossil fuel industry instead of the Great Barrier Reef and the communities that depend on its survival.”