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Funds push starts

Thursday, 13th March, 2008

The Broken Hill Community Foundation (BHCF) will next week in Melbourne launch a national campaign to boost its capital fund to $3 million.

More than 50 people, mostly from the mining industry, will attend the launch of the campaign on Tuesday. It aims to build the BHCF's capital fund to $3 million in the next three years.

Since its inception, the BHCF has grown its initial capital fund of $500,000 to about $800,000. The interest has been used to support 57 projects in small grants totalling more than $160,000.

"Depending on the level of cash flow from our investments, this will provide some $150,000 to $250,000 per year to support new business (and therefore employment opportunities) and some social projects in Broken Hill, in perpetuity," said BH Community Foundation Chairman, Vince Gauci.

"A capital fund of this size will therefore have a major positive impact on the sustainability of Broken Hill post the eventual depletion of the orebodies."Many invited to the launch have links to Broken Hill and an interest in supporting the city, said Mr Gauci.

He said other high-profile invitees, who are unable to attend the launch, had also committed their support for the BHCF's objectives.

Mr Gauci said the calibre of people offering support by either attending the launch or in other ways was a testament to the contribution Broken Hill has made not only to the mining industry, but to their individual careers.

"Many of the people who have accepted our invitation began their working lives in local mines and have now gone on to very senior positions in some of the world's leading mining companies," he said.

"We are also pleased Professor Geoffrey Blainey has agreed to address the gathering about Broken Hill's contribution to the Australian mining industry and the national economy."

The Minerals Council of Australia, Australian Mines and Metals Association and the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy will be represented at the launch.

Mr Gauci said a Melbourne venue was chosen for the function to reinforce the message that the BHCF is a mining community initiative which should be kick-started by the mining industry.

"The sustainability model presented by the BHCF has the potential to impact on mining communities throughout the world and we thought it fitting to launch the national fundraising from Melbourne where so many major companies have their corporate offices," he said.

He said the function was also expected to be the inaugural gathering of a group to be known as the Friends of the Foundation.

"Apart from providing some financial support for the BHCF, we hope that these 'friends in high places' may be able to offer support in other ways, such as encouraging additional financial support for the Capital Raising Campaign from governments, corporations, businesses and individuals across Australia."

A Broken Hill launch is planned for May and the BHCFs marketing plan also includes more functions in other metropolitan centres.

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