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When the COVID-19 pandemic started, local work increased in Newman.

“BHP wanted to limit the travel of people to and from the Pilbara – so for us it was a great opportunity to step up and complete work at short notice,” explained Scott Risk, Manager at RSK Contracting in Newman.

RSK’s services include earthworks, plumbing/dewatering, concreting and building at all of BHP’s operations in the Pilbara, with their main focus on the Jimblebar Operations.

They have a team of 16 people.

“We’re a small company and we live here in Newman,” said Scott.

“Being a Newman local, and going through the mining downturn not so long ago was a terrible experience, with a lot of stress and uncertainty for local residents and small companies,” said Scott.

“To see more local spending and engagement now is great. It means local companies can expand and support other businesses and facilities within Newman,” Scott continued. 

Sport is important to a lot of Newman residents, with BMX, motocross, soccer, football and netball big on the agenda after work finishes for the day and on weekends.

“We have a great sporting community here, and spending locally enables local sponsorship and more people engaging with the local sports clubs. Being so remote, we need to keep these sporting clubs active and vibrant,” explained Scott.

“In the past 12 months, I know my family has seen a big increase in the local spend and engagement, and there’s more activity in the town, which is fantastic,” said Scott.

“It would be great to see more people move to Newman and be a part of our fantastic community here!”

BHP has spent more than $500 million with over 1,450 local businesses across Australia since The Local Buying Program was launched in 2012.

The Local Buying Program helps to keep jobs, businesses and families in regional communities, contributing to the longevity and vibrancy of the towns that are home to our operations. 

The Program exists in partnership between BHP and C-Res. It has operated successfully in Queensland since 2012, in New South Wales since 2016, and in South Australia and Western Australia from 2017.

To read more about the Local Buying Program click here.

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