Rio outlines Gove assistance package

With shutdown works at Rio Tinto’s Gove alumina refinery beginning the week, the miner has announced a three year support package for the Northern Territory community of Nhulunbuy.

Rio Tinto Gove transition project director Jo-Anne Scarini said the decision to cease refinery operations has the potential to adversely impact businesses and families in the Nhulunbuy region.

Scarini said the miner is working in partnership with both the NT government and the Federal government to develop regional development new opportunities for the area.

“Rio Tinto recognises the regional economy will transition over a number of years and has committed to provide financial support to Nhulunbuy businesses and a safety net for residential property investors over the next three years,” she said.

Rio’s transition package includes three years of reduced power tariffs for all business customers in the area, subsidised rates, sewerage, and rubbish charges for all commercial properties and lower rents for tenants in Rio’s commercial properties.

Power tariff, waste removal and rate reductions will be stepped out over the next three years, with a 40 per cent reduction this year, 50 per cent next year, and a 30 per cent cut in 2016.

While commercial tenants will be given 30 per cent rent relief reduction for the first half of 2014, and a 50 per cent reduction until the end of 2015.

The miner will also be providing access to business mentors and independent financial planning advice.

For residential property investors experiencing financial hardship Rio will be implementing financial safety net provisions including lower rates and waste charges, and mortgage subsidies for up to three years.

Of the 1500 workers employed at the Arnhem Land operation about 350 employees will be redeployed to other Rio operations.

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