The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is proposing up to $1.5 billion for new gas projects across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The Northern Australia Development Fund is intended to provide a financing facility and will work with Infrastructure Australia to identify and support projects of national economic significance – such as gas pipelines – in Australia’s north.
Part of the fund will be set aside to unlock gas supply in Queensland’s Galilee and Bowen basins and connecting the Beetaloo to Darwin and the east coast. This would support Darwin as a manufacturing and gas export powerhouse, as well as increasing supply to Queensland and the eastern seaboard to put downward pressure on prices for gas users. Opening up the Beetaloo alone could provide enough gas to supply the domestic market for up to 400 years.
As part of these reforms the ALP also intends to:
- Allocate $1 billion from the Northern Australia Development Fund to tourism projects in the north.
- Appoint First Nations people to the new board of the Northern Australia Development Fund.
- Publicly release the First Nations job and procurement plans of all funded projects.
- Establish an MOU with Indigenous Business Australia to provide additional financial support to First Nations-led business in the north.
- Establish an MOU with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Energy Security Modernisation Fund (ESMF) to avoid end duplication and support cooperation between the funds.
- Honour existing projects and keep the funding allocation to the existing Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility of $5 billion.