To help combat the spread of COVID-19 in remote communities in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, Rio Tinto has partnered with Perth-based freight and logistics provider Matic Transport to donate 6,000 litres of hand cleaning products.
The recipients are communities in the Pilbara, (Roebourne, Tom Price, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo), and the Kimberley, as well as communities in Queensland (Weipa) and Northern Territory (Nhulunbuy and West Arnhem).
The supplies of anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand cleaning products recently departed Perth on a 15,000 kilometre journey across the top of the country thanks to Matic Transport who have donated their time and freight services to distribute the products.
Rio Tinto has sourced the anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand cleaning products from a local family-owned Western Australian manufacturer based in Perth. Rio Tinto is seeking to source additional supplies to continue to support remote communities.
Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Peter Jeffries, who received 1,000 litres of donated sanitizer in Roebourne on behalf of the local community, said, “We approached our industry partners for support given Aboriginal communities were identified as vulnerable people, particularly our elderly and our members who suffer from chronic health issues.
“It will be very important for our members to receive this donation of anti-bacterial hand-cleaning soap to help contain the spread of the virus in the community. I’d like to thank Rio Tinto for the donation.”
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said, “The health and safety of our people and communities continues to be our number one priority. We are supporting a wide range of initiatives like this which are designed to help these communities respond and recover from the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“Together with Matic, we are glad to be helping vulnerable and remote communities in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, to stay safe.”
Matic Group company director Danny Matic said, “As a family owned business, we are proud to be part of the Rio Tinto family as its core values are closely aligned to our own – Our people. Our Communities. We’re proud to be part of the effort to make available anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand cleaning products to remote Indigenous communities, remote hospitals and emergency services.
“Our pledge to communities through our partnership with Rio Tinto Iron Ore is to engage with Indigenous communities in a manner that is inclusive, respects rights, culture and everyone’s way of life.”
Rio Tinto also donated more than 600 litres of hand hygiene and cleaning products to Pilbara schools last week to support their safe reopening. A number of schools received the urgent supplies including St Luke’s College, Roebourne District and Karratha Senior High Schools, Dampier, Wickham, St Paul’s and Karratha Primary Schools, Roebourne Early Learning Centre, and One Tree children’s services in Pannawonica.