The McGowan Government in Western Australia has launched what it says is a state-first Resources Community Investment Initiative, backed by major mining companies, which will facilitate investment in iconic state infrastructure projects and community and social initiatives across Western Australia.
Established with founding partners Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill, Atlas Iron, Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia and Mineral Resources Ltd, the initiative provides a state government-backed platform for direct contribution to iconic infrastructure and social projects in the Western Australia community that will make the state an even better place to live for generations, the government said.
The initial commitments total A$750 million ($496 million) from Rio Tinto (A$250 million), BHP (A$250 million), Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron (A$100 million), Woodside Energy (A$50 million), Chevron Australia A($50 million) and Mineral Resources (A$50 million).
Government will work with The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and other companies to encourage additional investment from across Western Australia’s resources sector, it said.
An initial pipeline of projects has already been identified, including the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Perth Zoo Master Plan, the Remote Aboriginal Communities Fund, the Perth Concert Hall redevelopment and additional contributions to Telethon.
It will also extend to include transformational projects across the state, to enable companies to collectively contribute to achieving long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions they operate in, in areas such as education and training, health, Aboriginal wellbeing and energy decarbonisation projects.
Each company will decide the projects they wish to nominate funding to and individual project agreements will be established with agreed project milestones.
An advisory committee, comprising of an independent chair as well as government and industry representatives, will be convened to oversee the initiative and ensure the highest standards of governance.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This initiative is a great example of government and industry working together to support critical projects that will enable our community to prosper for generations to come. We want to leave a lasting, positive legacy wherever we operate, and this initiative will build on our more than 50 years of work helping to create thriving and resilient communities across Western Australia.”
BHP Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “BHP has a long and proud history in Western Australia, and we welcome the collaborative approach taken by the Western Australia Government and the mining industry to strengthen our significant contribution to this great state. We look forward to furthering our support for long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions where we operate, and for all West Australians.”
Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman, Gina Rinehart, said: “Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron have invested in programs and infrastructure in West Australia over many years and we are pleased to make a further A$100 million contribution through the RCII initiated by Premier McGowan.”
Mineral Resources Ltd Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said: “Western Australians have played a vital role in the success of MinRes and our industry. As a proud Western Australian company, MinRes is continuing to grow, creating jobs and building projects in this great state. It is only natural that we support an initiative that is building a better future for all Western Australians.”