Rio Tinto and Shire of Ashburton further strengthen Pilbara communities through renewal of long term partnership

23 June 2017

Rio Tinto and the Shire of Ashburton have agreed to extend their award winning long term partnership designed to make the Pilbara a better place to live.

The Community Infrastructure and Services Partnership (CISP) agreements provide for the delivery of infrastructure projects, local services and public events for the communities neighbouring Rio Tinto operations.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said he was excited to see how the next phase of Rio Tinto’s partnership with the Shire of Ashburton would deliver on community priorities for the towns of Tom Price, Pannawonica and Paraburdoo.

"Our partnership with the Shire of Ashburton is a fantastic demonstration of how a ‘hand’s on’ collaborative approach, and a shared vision can achieve real and sustainable outcomes for communities.

"Rio Tinto is proud of the foundation that’s been developed through the current successful partnership. We are continuing our commitment by allocating $5.7m towards a 5-year programme of events, festivals and community capacity building programmes and will continue to work together to scope and plan for various other infrastructure projects, such as enhanced childcare facilities in Tom Price.

"The Community Infrastructure and Services Partnership shows just what can be achieved when industry and local government collaborate on a joint objective of achieving lasting, tangible outcomes for the community."

Through the CISP agreement Rio Tinto has contributed $23 million to date, which has been matched by $22 million of external funding. Key achievements include the delivery of the:

  • Clem Thompson Sports Precinct, Tom Price;
  • Paraburdoo Childcare centre;
  • Tom Price and Paraburdoo Skate parks;
  • Club and community capacity development;
  • Events and festivals; and
  • School holiday programmes.

The partnership announcement follows a significant decision to give Pilbara businesses greater opportunity to bid for work under a new local procurement programme.

As part of the move, Rio Tinto has set up a dedicated procurement team to work with local businesses and a web portal to advise of upcoming contracts to allow more local businesses to lodge their interest for future work. A series of procurement workshops will also be held in the Pilbara during July.

"Rio Tinto has a responsibility to the Pilbara. We’re confident that a renewed commitment to local businesses and our innovative partnerships with local government will make a long-lasting positive difference to people and economy of the Pilbara," Mr Salisbury said.

Shire of Ashburton President Kerry White said Council is proud to continue the Shire’s partnership with Rio Tinto.

"Over the past five years the CISP has had a positive impact on the facilities and services available in each of the three towns, providing vibrant, healthy and active communities.

"Together we will continue our focus on creating a strong sense of place, ongoing community development and social engagement," Cr White said.

In 2016, Rio Tinto invested $17.9 million in 130 community programmes across the State, as well as providing $9.8 million in in-kind support.

For more on Rio Tinto’s contributions visit our Community Investment page