Rio Tinto to develop ECEC facility in Tom Price, in partnership with Council
Anglo-Australian multinational metals and mining company, Rio Tinto, has committed funding to support the Shire of Ashburton to develop a new “state-of-the-art childcare centre” in Tom Price, Western Australia.
The proposed facility will have capacity for 96 children and is projected to be open in 2021, providing both day care and after-school care facilities, a significant boost for local working families.
Rio Tinto is expected to contribute up to $5 million to the project, representing 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.
The project has arisen in part thanks to the approval, in November 2019, of a $1 billion investment in Rio Tinto’s Greater Tom Price operations, which will no doubt necesitate jobs growth in the region, hastening the need for childcare availability.
General manager of Greater Tom Price operations for Rio Tinto, Jamie Robinson, said Rio Tinto is proud to contribute towards the development, noting the critical importance of childcare for the community.
“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” Mr Robinson said.
“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.”
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 childminding resources.”
The investment in the child care service forms part of a broader commitment by Rio Tinto to the Shire of Ashburton, with the company having committed $30 million to the Shire through the Community Infrastructure and Services Partnership (CISP) since 2012.
Previous projects supported under the partnership include the Paraburdoo Community Hub, Tom Price Sports Precinct, Tom Price pool donation, Paraburdoo pool upgrade and the Paraburdoo and Tom Price revitalisation projects.