A new childcare centre long-sought after by Tom Price residents is a step closer to fruition after the Shire of Ashburton awarded a contract to Emirge Design and Construction. The Tom Price Childcare Centre and the Emergency Services Precinct, funded by the Shire, Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Rio Tinto, was put on hold after preferred contractor Pindan entered external administration in May. The new childcare centre will include additional spaces for daycare, after school and vacation care and once built, will be operated by the Nintirri Centre, who have provided childcare services in Tom Price for over 30 years. Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said she was glad to be able to get the project moving forward again. “After the disappointing halt of this project earlier in the year, we are delighted to engage the services of Emirge,” she said. “Emirge have extensive building experience in design, construction and building whilst also understanding the needs of our unique Pilbara environment and harsh climate. “We are excited to see the development of the Childcare Centre and Emergency Services Precinct that will reflect both the current and longstanding needs of the Tom Price community and look forward to construction commencing.” Nintirri chief executive Sylvia Winkler said they were pleased to hear the construction tender had been awarded. “We look forward to welcoming Emirge Design and Construction into the community, hoping they are able to mobilise quickly and recommence works, with Christmas holidays and cyclone season upon us,” she said. Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Simon Trott said it was great news for the Tom Price community where childcare is a critical service for local families. The emergency services precinct will house first responders including the Bush Fire Brigade and State Emergency Services. DFES Pilbara superintendent Peter McCarthy said the facility would provide a fantastic base of operations for Tom Price volunteers.