Rio Tinto commit $55,000 to support community groups

City of Busselton director of community and commercial services Naomi Searle and Rio Tinto superintendent community engagement Justin Francesconi team up to support community groups.
City of Busselton director of community and commercial services Naomi Searle and Rio Tinto superintendent community engagement Justin Francesconi team up to support community groups.

Rio Tinto has partnered with the City of Busselton to assist local community groups and not-for-profit organisations impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Rio Tinto has provided $45,000 to increase the funding pool available through the City of Busselton Community Assistance Program funding to $308,000.

This is welcome news to the many sporting and community groups looking to kick-start operations after many months of closure or partial operation.

In addition to this generous contribution to the Community Assistance Program, Rio Tinto has also provided $5,000 toward surveillance upgrades at the Communicare Women's Refuge and $5,000 to continue food relief services in Busselton and Dunsborough.

These food services were instigated by the city and community groups at the height of pandemic restrictions.

Community Assistance Funding Grants are available to help community groups meet costs such as rent, insurance, public liability, utilities, administration support and infrastructure projects.

Applications for Community Assistance Funding will be open for the duration of the 2020/2021 financial year or until all funds are allocated.

Proposed activity associated with the funding will need to be completed by 30 June 2021.

City of Busselton acting mayor, Kelly Hick said that redirecting annual Community Bid funding into COVID-19 response efforts made good sense.

"Our community and sporting groups are the backbone of our community and many are suffering financial hardship as a result of forced closures," she said.

"Membership bases need to be rebuilt, programs reignited and expenses met.

"It made good sense to redirect these funds to where the need was greatest. We are exceptionally grateful for Rio Tinto's continued support of our community."

Rio Tinto superintendent community engagement Justin Francesconi said that they were pleased to support community recovery efforts.

"The City of Busselton community has played an important part in keeping the state's resource sector viable during COVID-19 and we applaud the efforts of businesses, individuals and families," he said.

"We're happy to help fast-track the recovery of not-for-profit groups that contribute so significantly to the health and happiness of the whole community."

Community Assistance Funding is available to not-for-profit organisations based in the City of Busselton.

Grants of up to $10,000 are potentially available to eligible applicants.