National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest for funding through the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

The $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility (the loan facility) is available to provide state and territory governments with concessional loans to co-fund the construction of water infrastructure. The loans are available through the department.

The loan facility is designed to assist state and territory governments through co-investment in vital water infrastructure. Funding aims to accelerate the construction of major water infrastructure projects such as dams, weirs, pipelines and managed aquifer recharge projects to provide affordable and secure water supplies to support the growth of regional economies and communities across Australia.

The delivery of the loan facility will transfer to the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) upon its establishment in July 2018. Until that time the loan facility will be administered by the department.

Further information on the RIC is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources' website.

Eligibility

Access to loans is subject to eligibility criteria, including state and territory governments and their project partners demonstrating that:

  • the proposed water infrastructure is economically viable over its proposed operational life.
  • water resources are managed in accordance with the principles of the National Water Initiative (NWI).

Eligibility for loans is restricted to state and territory governments. Expressions of interest must have the written support of the state or territory minister responsible for water.

Guidance notes on the NWI requirements for water infrastructure projects are available from the Guidance notes for National Water Initiative requirements page.

Dates for Expressions of Interest

Applications are open for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from state and territory governments for funding through the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

EOIs will be accepted continuously until all loan funds are committed.

The department may alter assessment dates for application processes at its absolute discretion. Future assessment dates will be notified via the website. State and territory governments will be informed by the loan facility team of any updates to the assessment dates.

Information about the projects funded under the loan facility is available on the Water Infrastructure Projects page.

Apply for a loan

Only state and territory governments may apply for a loan.

Before you apply:

State and territory governments may request a copy of the standard loan agreement from the department by emailing Water Infrastructure.

When you are ready to apply for a loan:

If your EOI, including attachments, is under 20 MB, please email it to Water Infrastructure. If it is over 20 MB, please contact the department via this email to arrange lodgement of your submission.

For more information or if you have any questions email Water Infrastructure.

Please check this web page regularly for updates about the loan facility. The department will publish frequently asked questions and answers to make sure all potential applicants have access to the same information.

Questions and answers

Will the assessment process consider recommending an EOI be offered less than the funding requested?

No. EOI will be merit assessed and recommended for funding on the basis of the information provided.

How does the establishment of the RIC affect applying for a loan?

The department will administer and operate the loan facility in line with the published investment guidelines until such time as the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is established.

To stay updated on the progress of the RIC, please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Can I seek a loan for urban water projects?

No. Projects covering the construction, upgrade or maintenance of town water infrastructure are ineligible under the loan facility.

Can I apply for both a loan from the facility and capital funding from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund?

Yes, provided funding is available under both programs. Please use the loan application form to submit one proposal under both programs.

For further information on eligibility requirements, please refer to both the loan facility investment guidelines and the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund capital component guidelines.

Must I have received funding for construction under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to be eligible for a loan to build water infrastructure?

No. To be eligible to apply for a water infrastructure loan, you do not have to have received funding through the capital component of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

You can apply for both programs if funding is available. For further information on eligibility requirements, please refer to both the loan facility investment guidelines and the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund capital component guidelines.

Please use the loan application form to submit one proposal under both programs.

Must I have received funds for a feasibility study under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to be eligible for a loan to build water infrastructure?

No. To be eligible to apply for a water infrastructure loan, you do not have to have received funding through the feasibility component of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

How much will the Australian Government contribute?

Australian Government contributions from all sources will not exceed 49% of the total cost of the proposed project. Ineligible activities and in-kind contributions cannot be counted toward any project partner contribution to the total project cost.

If you are applying for funding under both the loan facility and the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, the Australian Government cap of 49% funding contribution applies.

For further information on eligibility requirements, please refer to both the loan facility investment guidelines and the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund capital component guidelines.

What types of projects are eligible?

This funding is for construction of major water infrastructure—including but not limited to dams, weirs, pipelines, managed groundwater recharge and water treatment and reuse schemes—that has a total construction cost of more than $100 million.

Please see Schedule 1 of the investment guidelines (above) for further information on eligible and ineligible activities. Ineligible activities and in-kind contributions cannot be counted toward any project partner contribution to the total project cost.

Is there a minimum loan amount?

Yes. The minimum amount that the Commonwealth will provide as a concessional loan is $50 million. For further information on eligibility requirements, please refer to the loan facility investment guidelines.

Background

The $2 billion loan facility was announced as part of the 2016–17 Federal Budget.

Loans will be provided at the best concessional rate that the Commonwealth can provide. The maximum period of a loan may be up to 15 years. Loans may be structured to provide an interest only repayment period of up to five years with a further period of ten years to fully repay the loan principal and interest.

The loan facility is in addition to and will complement the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund—a key measure of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. Only state and territory governments can access these programs.