BHP to invest A$30m in new retail facility in WA

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BHP Billiton Iron Ore has announced a A$30 million investment for a new retail facility in the town of Newman, Western Australia.

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The new retail facility – to be developed as part of an innovative community partnership with St Bartholomew’s House (St Bart’s) – will include 4,500 square metres of retail space and provide residents with a range of retail and dining options which may include a supermarket, discount department store and cafe.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson said the investment strengthened the company’s support for Western Australia and the city of Newman, which began in 1966 with the construction of the Newman township.

“Since then, we have continued to maintain a strong commitment to Newman through a range of community investments and key infrastructure and accommodation developments. The investment announced today is the largest the Company has made in Australia and will see BHP Billiton partner with respected not-for-profit organisation, St Bart’s, to build and manage the new facility,” he said.

“Under a unique partnership model, St Bart’s will use profits from the retail facility to provide ongoing support to the Newman community as well as create a Community Trust that will provide small grants for local community projects. This innovative model sets a new standard in corporate philanthropy and ensures that our bricks and mortar investment translates into positive, long-lasting economic and social benefits for the local community.”

Mr Wilson said the mining industry has made, and would continue to make a significant contribution to regional communities in Western Australia.

“Despite current market conditions, we remain committed to supporting our local communities and to our presence in the Pilbara for decades to come.”

The new facility will complement works being undertaken by the Western Australian Government and the Shire of East Pilbara to develop a new Town Square, the design of which was unveiled at an event in Newman with WA Minister for Regional Development and Lands, the Hon. Terry Redman MLA.

Construction of the new retail facility, which will be located in the new Town Centre, is due to commence in the middle of this year.