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RFDS and Rio Tinto continue close cooperation
The US$1.25 million RFDS Queensland partnership is part of a much larger commitment Rio Tinto has made to support communities around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.
Rio Tinto MD Kellie Parker and RFDS Queensland chief executive Meredith Staib.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and Rio Tinto have formed a new partnership to improve emergency and remotely delivered health care services across regional Queensland.

Under the partnership, Rio Tinto has pledged $1.25 million to RFDS Queensland over five years, underlining the company's commitment to the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and to providing resources to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership adds to Rio Tinto's longstanding support of the Flying Doctor in Western Australia.

The new partnership will:

- Contribute to construction of a world-class Aeromedical Retrieval Simulation Hub in Bundaberg. The hub will use virtual reality, augmented reality and high-fidelity immersive training scenarios to attract and train aeromedical professionals for the benefit of the whole state.

- Improve remote delivery of primary health care and mental health services across the state through support of RFDS Queensland's COVID-19 emergency fund.

- Fund construction and maintenance of a new patient transfer facility in Weipa and maintenance of the existing patient transfer facility in Gladstone. These transfer facilities improve patient care and operational response times for critical patients and upgrade comfort levels for patients, crews and service-delivery partners.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific operations managing director Kellie Parker says: “We are proud to extend to Queensland our longstanding partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people and communities, and the Flying Doctor provides a vital service to remote and rural areas. This partnership will help improve medical access and services for people in these areas across the state, including where we operate, at Gladstone and on Cape York Peninsula.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) chief executive Meredith Staib said the RFDS was pleased to welcome Rio Tinto as a principal partner.

“This new million-dollar partnership will allow our service to deliver even greater levels of care across the state,” Ms Staib explains. “Improving our infrastructure does require a significant investment, and strategic partnerships such as this will allow us to do just that. We are incredibly grateful to Rio Tinto for its commitment to help us deliver even better health outcomes for Queenslanders.”

The $1.25 million RFDS Queensland partnership is the first major investment announced in Queensland as part of a US$25 million commitment Rio Tinto has made to support communities around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. The commitment takes Rio Tinto's total estimated voluntary global community contributions to around US$60 million for 2020.

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