QRC welcomes $5 billion infrastructure loans

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a $5 billion infrastructure initiative for northern Australia in its 2015 Budget.

The $5 billion loan facility will be used to new road, water, electricity, airport and rail infrastructure in regions in the north of the country which have been slower to develop due to infrastructure issues.

Northern states as well as private companies will be able to apply to the government for access to the low-interest loans from July 1.

"We will partner with the private sector and governments of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, to provide large concessional loans for the construction of ports, pipelines, electricity and water infrastructure that will open our northern frontier for business," Treasurer Joe Hockey said in his budget speech.

"Through this new investment we are laying down strong foundations to get Australia ready for its economic future.”

QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the fund was great news for boosting the resource sector potential of Cape York and the North West minerals province.

The Northern Territory government also welcomed news of the loan facility.

Chief Minister Adam Giles said he was happy to see that the budget recognised that northern infrastructure development is key to Australia's economic future.

Giles said increasing private sector investment is “exactly what my government has been lobbying for”.

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