Freight Rail, Market Sectors, Passenger Rail

NAIF appoints Chris Wade as CEO

Construction crane. Photo: Jim Wilson

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), a $5 billion lending organisation, has appointed senior investment official Chris Wade as its new chief executive officer.

NAIF was established in 2016 to finance projects through the governments of the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia in order to achieve growth in the economies and populations of northern Australia.

Wade will join NAIF as CEO from 20 January 2020, replacing inaugural CEO Laurie Walker. Wade has experience in investment businesses across sectors such as infrastructure, renewable energy and property and has held director roles at a range of infrastructure bodies, according to the NAIF. He is also on the Board of the Infrastructure Association of Queensland.

“Chris has enjoyed an extensive career in infrastructure related roles and we believe he possesses the right competencies to take NAIF forward into our next exciting phase of developing and supporting key infrastructure investment across northern Australia,” NAIF chair, professor Khory McCormick, said.

“As an organisation we collectively achieved much during Ms Walker’s three-year tenure, particularly since the Mandate changes which resulted in greater finance assessment flexibility.”

“With a number of important deals at advanced stages and NAIF moving to enhance the transformational and iconic project aspects of its operations, this is an exciting time for NAIF and for the North. We are delighted that Chris will lead the organisation’s highly committed and skilled team in this next period when NAIF’s delivery of ever-increasing public benefit will be realised.”

“Chris’s combination of infrastructure experience, financial acumen and executive leadership skills form a compelling combination for steering the organisation through the exciting times and opportunities ahead.”

“I am confident that Chris’ experience in the areas of infrastructure, property and renewable energy will bring a fresh perspective to the work of the NAIF and help maintain the momentum we are seeing with projects reaching key milestones,” minister for resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said.

According to the minister, $1.93 billion in NAIF investment decisions and conditional approvals have been made across 17 projects which are forecast to create 4,600 jobs, with total public benefit forecast at $4.6 billion.

Projects supported by NAIF are diversified across different sectors, including ports, airports, tourism, education, social infrastructure, agriculture, resources and renewable energy.