AUSTRALIA’S gas and electricity suppliers are hoping the Government will allow them to save some money by selling off some of their infrastructure assets in the next tranche of infrastructure funding.
The Government announced it would commit to an extra $300 million to the National Infrastructure Investment Bank (NIIB), but a large amount of the funds will be used to pay for gas and other infrastructure projects in the north and south of the country.
Key points:”It is not possible to put everything in place” in the short term because the banks are “struggling to get the financials right” for gas projects and electricity, a senior bank executive told the ABCThe Federal Government announced last week it would invest $3.7 billion to fund the NIIB, which is part of a package of $3 billion in the National Budget.
It is understood that the banks have been trying to get their balance sheets in order, but this has been a “challenge”, according to the senior bank official.
“It’s not possible, they are struggling to get that financials wrong,” the official said.
“So we are looking at a few options, the biggest being to sell assets and assets in other industries.”
The biggest issue is we are not in the business of just getting things on the road to a financial return.
“The NIIB is an independent body which is funded through a mix of public and private funding.
It works on infrastructure in a range of industries including transport, energy, manufacturing, banking and communications.
It has a total of $2.8 trillion in assets, according to its website.
However, the Government has said it would be open to other funding options.”
There are some other options we have identified to put in place, if we can find the money that would allow us to do that,” a spokeswoman for Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.
Mr Cormann told the House of Representatives this week that it was “time for Australia to put our money where our mouth is” and to get some infrastructure done.”
We need to be able to build this country again, not build roads, not rebuild our schools, not replace our health care systems,” he said.’
We are not just talking about infrastructure, we are talking about how we live, our jobs, our economy’The NIAB is set to receive $3bn of the $3-billion promised to the Bank of Australia in the Government’s infrastructure package.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned that if the banks don’t get a return on their infrastructure investment, they will be “in real trouble”.”
It could be a lot of money, but if you can’t sell that infrastructure and that infrastructure is not being used to build the roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and hospitals of tomorrow, how do you make that money back?” the CCC said.
The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has been asked to look at whether to fund projects across the Northern Territory and Queensland in the Northern Powerhouse Infrastructure Package.