04 December 2008

Rio Tinto Coal Australia announces $3 million in funding for regional Queensland

Rio Tinto Coal Australia is continuing its long term commitment to the communities in the regions where we operate in Queensland, Pledging $3 million over the next three years.

Rio Tinto Coal Australia External Relations general manager Fiona Nicholls said the commitment would help fund projects that contribute towards the regions' sustainable development.

The funding will be delivered through its Community Development Funds at Hail Creek Mine, Kestrel Mine and the Clermont Community Development Fund.

"This is not a grant program, but a partnership programme, for us to work together with local community groups to develop and implement initiatives that address regional issues," Ms Nicholls said.

"This three year commitment allows us to build capacity, not dependency, in the communities neighbouring our operations, contributing to the future sustainability of the regions.

"Each Community Development Fund will share in $3 million to foster the development of skills, improve education, training, employment and economic development outcomes within their communities."

The new phase builds on the success of the past three years funding which committed more than $1.6 million to community development funds at Blair Athol Mine, Kestrel Mine and Hail Creek Mine.

"As a leading resource company, we aim to build lasting and mutually rewarding relationships with our neighbours and surrounding communities," Ms Nicholls said.

"It is important to us, as a member in these communities, that we demonstrate our partnership with local communities to deliver local benefits and support a diverse range of projects.

"Over the next three years we will be seeking to develop partnerships with local groups throughout the region to generate some long term positive outcomes around education, the environment, employment and economic development."

Additionally, Rio Tinto Coal Australia has recently launched two Aboriginal Community Development Funds. The Clermont Aboriginal Community Development Fund and the Wiri Yuwiburra Aboriginal Community Benefits Trust designed to support projects that work towards providing business, education and training opportunities for the Wiri Yuwiburra, Wangan and Jagalingou people in central Queensland.

Media Enquiries:
Nathan Scholz
07 3361 4354 / 0417 613 174

Media release - Rio Tinto Coal Australia announces $3 million in funding for regional Queensland [PDF: 17 KB]