GLOBAL mining house Xstrata has donated $1 million to the north Queensland arm of the Ronald McDonald House charity.
The donation, made through Xstrata’s north Queensland community program, will help the charity to complete $3 million worth of works including a new 12-bedroom accommodation building near the Townsville hospital and a minor refurbishment of an existing 12-room facility.
The facility is expected to provide a place to stay for families with sick children in the region who aren’t close to the hospital.
Xstrata Copper North Queensland chief operating officer Steve de Kruijff said the miner’s partnership with Ronald McDonald House would bring lasting benefits to north Queensland families with sick children.
“Living in north west Queensland can often mean that specialist care is a long way from home, especially for premature babies, and with access to the house a large number of families would need to go to great expense to be with their children while they undergo treatment,” Mr
de Kruijff said. “We believe that to develop sustainable communities we must help deliver essential health and ancillary services to our host communities,” he added.
“Another compelling factor for us that a large percentage of those families assisted were also our valued employees, and based on those statistics, I would say that the house in Townsville is not just a ‘nice to have’ service, but a necessity.”
About 98 per cent of the families who utilise the existing 12-room Ronald McDonald House facility at the Townsville hospital come from regional areas of north Queensland. Xstrata’s copper arm has three major assets in north Queensland: Mount Isa, Ernest Henry and its Townsville copper refinery and port operations.
By Lorna Seatter