John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    $9million to help shires cope with Boddington Gold expansion

    30/11/2006 6:00 PM

    The State Government has approved a $9million grant to assist the shires of Boddington, Murray and Wandering.

    Resources Minister John Bowler announced that the funding would be used to help the shires cope with the rapid population increase arising from the $2billion expansion of the Boddington Gold Mine.

    The $9million comes on top of $550,000 which the State Government provided to the Shire of Boddington in October.

    “Boddington’s population will grow rapidly and is expected to more than double within the next three years,” Mr Bowler said.

    “The funding shows the Government’s commitment to the region and development of essential social infrastructure.”

    The Minister said the funding would allow the shires to increase the hours worked by staff, including a town planner and shire engineer, plus appoint any new staff as needed.

    The extra staffing would enable housing and industrial land supply and shire services to be increased prior to any rise in the rates base. The package also included money to buy homes for shire staff, to help attract key personnel in a competitive market.

    “There will be work done to upgrade road drainage in Boddington, shire offices will be expanded and waste management improved,” Mr Bowler said.

    “The funding will also assist with the development of industrial land, a new recreational centre, day care centre and other community facilities.”

    The Minister said the money would be distributed by the Department of Industry and Resources and the Peel Development Commission to assist the shires over three years, with the commission to appoint a full-time officer to work closely with the shires in coping with the rapid changes.

    The gold mine expansion would employ more than 1,200 people during the construction phase and 650 permanent staff once in operation. Two-thirds of the permanent staff were expected to live within 50km of the mine.

    The mine was expected to produce up to 600,000 ounces of gold and 20,000 tonnes of copper concentrates per year over a 17-year mine life. Initial production was expected by late 2008.

    Minister's office - 9222 9699