On Friday 19 August BHP Billiton Petroleum Australia Operations Manager, Clive Jones joined the Minister for State Development, the Hon. Bill Marmion, Ashburton Shire President, Kerry White, and Thalanyji Chairman, Cyril Hayes to celebrate the opening of the new multipurpose courts in Onslow.
The town celebrated with a family friendly night filled with basketball fun, food trucks, entertainment and a special performance by X-Factor favourite ‘Big T’.
The new multipurpose courts have been built in partnership between BHP Billiton, the Pilbara Development Commission and the Shire of Ashburton.
The new facility provides the Onslow community with an open air court, two undercover courts (which can also be used for a range of Community events), quality night lighting, car parks, spectator viewing areas and new state-of-the-art scoreboards.
Since 2007, BHP Billiton has invested over A$10 million in programs and infrastructure for the Onslow Community. BHP Billiton Petroleum Australia Operations Manager, Clive Jones, spoke at the event noting the importance of this investment.
“Our funding supports health and education initiatives, local festivals and events, small business development, and in particular the annual Onslow Basketball Carnival in partnership with the Shire and Thalanyji” he said.
Basketball is the most popular sport in town, and the new courts were quickly put to use as the town held the annual basketball carnival, proudly supported by BHP Billiton, over the weekend.
The Onslow Basketball Carnival is managed in partnership between BHP Billiton, the Shire of Ashburton and Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation, and aims to promote great sportsmanship and healthy lifestyle.
Over the weekend a record number of teams took part in the carnival which was run by former Wildcats Captain Brad Robbins, former West Coast Eagle Travis Gaspar and former Wildcats and 36ers player Martin Cattalini, who also ran a number of coaching workshops and community activities.
For the first time BHP Billiton entered a team, and while the scoreboard didn’t reflect it the Macedon Meteors would have received a gold medal for effort. Team captain, Paul Elliott said he enjoyed playing in the carnival and was pleased to see the community coming together.
“It was great that we were able to come up to Onslow to participate in the Carnival this year. The team really enjoyed the opportunity, it was fantastic to understand the legacy BHP Billiton will be leaving for Onslow and seeing the local community making the most of the new facility.” he said.