New NAIF toolkit to empower First Nations Australians

Minister for Northern Australia and Minister for Resources Madeleine King has released a new toolkit and guideline to support businesses applying for Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) funding to maximise Indigenous participation, procurement, and employment. 

As part of the NAIF mandate, any proponent applying for funding must have an Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES). 

To help companies create a strategy, NAIF has designed a new toolkit and guideline to help proponents deliver the most effective and sustainable Indigenous participation, procurement, and employment programs. 

Once a loan is approved, NAIF will work with the proponents over the course of the loan term to deliver initiatives outlined in the engagement strategy. 

To date NAIF’s proponents have spent over $49 million on Indigenous procurement in support of projects. 

As more NAIF projects are approved, Indigenous procurement and employment is expected to increase. 

For example, a key outcome of the expansion of the Onslow Marine Support Base, a NAIF funded project in Western Australia, has been the provision of a civil equipment leasing contract to Kuuwa Rentals, a subsidiary of Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation.

Minister King said Indigenous engagement not only supported communities, but also made good business sense.  

“To date, over 1,000 Indigenous jobs have been supported by projects facilitated by the NAIF,” Minister King said.

“This new toolkit and guideline will ultimately help companies employ more Indigenous people and to contract more Indigenous businesses.

“This is a great example of how the NAIF is delivering for First Nations Australians in the North.”

Key Indigenous outcomes in NAIF supported projects.

  • Over $49 million procurement of Indigenous businesses.
  • Over 190 Indigenous businesses engaged across all NAIF proponents.
  • Over 1,000 Indigenous jobs supported.
  • $27 million Indigenous procurement spend in FY23.

NAIF CEO Craig Doyle said strategies needed to be shaped to fit each project and community. 

“It is a condition of NAIF funding that proponents work with our dedicated team to devise a tailored Indigenous Engagement Strategy that is sustainable and achievable,” Mr Doyle said. 

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every project is unique, and every community is unique.”

The Indigenous Engagement Strategy Toolkit and Guideline are available at here.