PERTH, Australia -- Rio Tinto will commit funds to develop a new state-of-the-art childcare centre in Tom Price, in partnership with the Shire of Ashburton.
The proposed facility will have capacity for 96 children and is projected to be open in 2021. It will provide both day care and after-school care facilities, a significant boost for local working families.
Rio Tinto’s planned contribution, of as much as $5 million, will represent a substantial share of the project construction costs. The design phase of this project is proposed to begin shortly, with construction works forecast to commence in mid-2020.
Rio Tinto and the Shire of Ashburton will now commence discussions on the terms of a binding funding agreement to support this commitment.
This conditional funding commitment follows November’s approval of a $749 million (A$1 billion) investment in Rio Tinto’s Greater Tom Price operations. The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 mine will help sustain production capacity from Greater Tom Price.
Rio Tinto general manager Greater Tom Price operations, Jamie Robinson said “Rio Tinto is proud to contribute towards the development of this new state-of-the-art facility.
“Childcare is a critical service for the community here in Tom Price and the development of this new, modern center will enhance the town’s ability to attract and retain families, while also increasing local job opportunities. It will also provide a fantastic learning environment for children that attend.
“I would like to acknowledge our partners, the Shire of Ashburton, for their dedication towards this project. This sustainable investment is another great example of what government and industry can achieve together through partnership.
“Rio Tinto is listening to feedback from our monthly Local Voices surveys and will continue to invest in areas important to our community. We remain committed to improving the quality of the town’s assets, creating more regional jobs and maximising occupancy of company housing.”
Shire of Ashburton President Kerry White said “The new facility will be a positive feature in attracting more families to live in our Tom Price community and will also greatly assist parents who are looking to re-enter the workforce or take on new career opportunities, which is currently difficult due to limited child minding resources.”