Australia’s $15B National Reconstruction Fund now open for investments

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Image credit: Kostiantyn/stock.adobe.com

The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is now poised to initiate investments aimed at fostering the growth of Australia’s industrial capabilities, with a focus on generating secure and well-paid job opportunities for the future.

Minister for Industry Ed Husic, along with Finance Minister Katy Gallagher, officially released the Investment Mandate of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation.

This move unlocks a substantial sum of funds, totalling billions of dollars, dedicated to revitalising Australia’s competitiveness throughout the manufacturing value chain, the government said in a media release.

The Investment Mandate delineates the NRF Corporation’s responsibilities, highlighting seven key priorities for investment: renewables and low-emission technologies, medical science, transport, value-add in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, value-add in resources, defence capabilities, and enabling technologies.

Emphasising a commitment to financial prudence, the mandate directs the NRF Corporation to operate on a commercial, self-sufficient basis.

Stringent due diligence on investment decisions is mandated, with an expectation of a tangible return for the taxpayer.

The Corporation is tasked with targeting a rate of return between two and three per cent above the five-year Australian Government bond rate over the medium to long term.

The NRF Corporation, functioning as an independent entity, boasts a Board equipped with significant expertise spanning various sectors.

This Board will autonomously decide on financing, encompassing both debt and equity, for Australian-based investments across the seven identified priority areas of the economy.

Minister Gallagher expressed the significance of this milestone, stating, “This is an important day, after a decade of neglect, we’re rebuilding manufacturing in Australia, and creating well paid, secure jobs for workers across the country.”

She added, “We believe in a Future Made in Australia, and that’s what the National Reconstruction Fund will deliver.”

Minister Husic expressed that the approval of the investment mandate marks a pivotal moment, enabling the NRF to actively engage in the reconstruction of manufacturing capabilities and bolster supply chain resilience.

“Signing off on the investment mandate means the NRF can get cracking on rebuilding our manufacturing capabilities and supply chain resilience,” Husic noted.

Meanwhile, Martijn Wilder, chair of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation, stressed the mandate’s flexibility, allowing the NRF Corporation to drive investments in the seven identified priority areas, aligning with the government’s overarching commitment to transforming the Australian economy.

“It will also see the NRF Corporation work closely across government with other critical agencies such as the Net Zero Economy Agency, the CEFC and others to maximise our impact,” stated Wilder.

The NRF Corporation’s Investment Mandate can be accessed here.

For additional information on the National Reconstruction Fund, you may visit this website.