Community fund renewed for continued help
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
AN extra $1 million will be available to local organisations following the resurrection of the Comalco Community Fund last night.
The final round of donations in October exhausted the fund. However during a celebration last night, Comalco contributed an extra $1 million to the cause, allowing donations to continue for a fur-ther three years.
Comalco chief executive Oscar Groeneveld said the program had been very successful in bringing long term sustainable benefits to the Gladstone region.
"In addition to 11 partnerships and $1 million committed, the Fund has contributed significant in-kind support and leveraged more than $3 million of additional support to the Gladstone region,'' Mr Groeneveld said.
He said the support the fund of-fered locally would help build a strong partnership between industry and the local community.
"This illustrates what is possible when the community and industry work together in partnership,'' Mr Groeneveld said.
The fund assists local government and community groups to provide sustainable support in areas including employment, workforce training and the environment.
A team of local community members help decide on the size and recipients of the donations.
Mr Groeneveld said their work was invaluable in helping Comalco achieve the fund's objectives.
A recent independent review of the fund found it was pro-active, highly regarded in the region and assisted in attracting significant funding locally.
The fund has initiated programs such as the Gladstone Schools Engineering Skills Centre, CQ Volunteering and Gladstone Health Ser-vices Midwifery Scholarships.