Rio Tinto partners with WA Govt for vaccine plan

25 August, 2021

Rio Tinto will be offering a vaccine plan to FIFO workers and WA Communities. They will be installing vaccination hubs in the Pilbara and at a trial clinic at Perth Airport. The vaccination plan will be in partnership with the WA Government. 

‘Pop-up’ vaccination hubs to target workers returning to Perth will also be set up as well as screening facilities at Perth Airport Terminals Two and Three.

Rio Tinto’s FIFO workers with have first access to the COVID 19 Vaccination hubs. They will then be extended to the wider FIFO community.

There will be several locations across the Pilbara. This is so that local community members and Indigenous communities will also have access to the COVID 19 vaccine. The first hub is intended to start at the Tom Price Iron Ore Mine, which will also cater to Rio Tinto employees, contractors and their families.

Rio Tinto is working with the WA Department of Health and the Shire of Ashburton to finalise a location for the proposed Tom Price hub. If all goes to plan, the Tom Price vaccination hub could potentially offer vaccines to the entire adult population of Tom Price and surrounding communities.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott said the company was ready to support the WA Government’s vaccination rollout in any way it could.

“We are pleased to work in partnership with the WA Government on this industry-first vaccination blitz, which we expect will help boost vaccination rates in the Pilbara,” Trott said.

“This is an important development in our state’s effort to combat COVID-19. We know vaccinations are our best way out of this pandemic. We are very happy to convert our existing screening facilities, which have helped keep COVID-19 out of our operations and vulnerable communities for almost 18 months, to include vaccination hubs.

“Given Rio Tinto’s large operational footprint in the Pilbara, we are well positioned to support the WA Government’s vaccination rollout in the region. This will ensure the vaccine is more accessible to remote and vulnerable communities. Plans are being developed to establish additional hubs in places like Paraburdoo, Pannawonica and Dampier, following the Tom Price vaccine blitz.”

BHP and Fortescue Metals Group are also having discussions regarding further vaccination hubs. Western Australia’s resources sector leaders are keen to work together. This will ensure their labour force gets vaccinated as soon as possible.