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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Parliament supports Premier’s call for Qld home for North Australia initiative

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Parliament supports Premier’s call for Qld home for North Australia initiative

    State Parliament has unanimously supported the Palaszczuk Government’s push for the Federal Government to establish the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility in Queensland, not Sydney, as it had planned.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government had argued against the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility being headquartered in Sydney as proposed by the Abbott-Turnbull governments.

    “If the Federal Government insists that the NAIF must be based in a capital city, then it should be Brisbane with a strong regional Queensland presence. This is what I have said,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “If the Federal Government is open to look for a location beyond capital cities, then they should locate it in regional Queensland. North Queensland would be an ideal location for the Federal Government to set up the NAIF.”

    “I had the opportunity to raise the issue with new Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan in Rockhampton on Saturday. He was receptive to our case for a Queensland base for the NAIF.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said she had offered former Prime Minister Tony Abbott space at the Office of North Queensland in Townsville within my Department of Premier and Cabinet for Australian Government staff.

    “This is the office that my Government re-opened after the previous LNP Government closed it,” she said.

    “Mr Abbott did not take up the offer. I repeat that offer, particularly if it can secure a strong regional Queensland presence for the NAIF.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said in terms of the NAIF, the Federal Parliament needed to consider and pass legislation so it could be operational and funds could be released for projects across northern Australia.

    “My Government recognises the immense growth potential of Northern Australia with two-thirds of the population of the region living in Queensland,” she said.

    The NAIF will offer up to $5 billion in concessional finance to encourage and complement private sector investment in economic infrastructure that otherwise would not be built or would not be built for some time.

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