A $1.5 million sporting facility will be built in Borroloola with a grant from the McArthur River Mine (MRM) Community Benefits Trust.
Built on the site of the old town basketball courts, the new facility will include covered multipurpose sports courts, seating, lighting, electronic scoreboard, car parking and pedestrian access.
Roper Gulf Regional Council applied for the funding to provide a much-needed facility for youth in Borroloola.
It is the largest single grant ever awarded by the MRM Community Benefits Trust.
MRM Community Benefits Trust Chair Greg Ashe said the provision of facilities for youth in Borroloola was a consistent need identified in Trust community consultations.
“We know there is a big need for a facility such as this to engage young people in healthy activities,” Mr Ashe said.
“This is a perfect example of how the Community Benefits Trust can make a difference to the lives of people in Borroloola and the Gulf region.”
Roper Gulf Regional Council Mayor Judy MacFarlane thanked McArthur River Mine for its contribution to the betterment of Borroloola, adding that delivering infrastructure that met community expectation required a strong partnership between Local Government, residents and key stakeholders like MRM.
“Borroloola has been identified as one of the fastest-growing towns in the 186,000 square kilometre Roper Gulf Local Government Area,” Mayor MacFarlane said.
“To ensure the wants of residents are met, Council needs to form solidified relationships with funding partners who have a vested interest in the social and economic development of the town, whether that is a Government entity or an enterprise like McArthur River Mine.
“The youth here are the future of Borroloola, so I thank MRM for having the long-term vision and commitment to provide the funding needed, through its Community Benefits Trust, for Council to build infrastructure that will promote health and physical activity in this town.”
The grant comes as the Trust celebrates 10 years of operations as a joint initiative of McArthur River Mining, the Northern Territory Government and the local community.
Over this time, the Trust has contributed $14.8 million to 83 separate programs.
Northern Territory Government representative on the Trust board Jake Quinlivan said he was pleased the Trust was able to fast track the project given its importance to Borroloola.
“From the funding application being considered by the board to reaching an agreement with Roper Gulf, the process has taken a matter of weeks – that’s great news for the community,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin early in the new year.
View the full Media Release here.