Sporting activities across the Orange region will make a clean start this weekend with fixed hand sanitiser units being installed at parks, ovals and sporting fields.
Newcrest Mining has provided $60,000 for 100 units to be located throughout the Orange, Blayney and Cabonne council areas.
Initially 40 will be installed in Orange with about 20 each for grounds in the other two council areas.
Newcrest will provide four refill bottles for each unit but the councils will be responsible for the maintenance of the units.
About 10 units have yet to be allocated to a venue and will be available where more are needed.
Newcrest Mining managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas was in Orange on Wednesday to unveil the program and also announce $40,000 funding to assist front-line coronavirus medical workers at Orange hospital.
The total $100,000 funding is part of Newcrest's $20 million Community Support Fund which has been established to assist communities cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The heavy-duty foot activated dispensers are being installed and stocked with hospital-grade hand sanitiser at entry points to sporting venues ahead of the return of team sports from this weekend.
Mr Biswas said the hand hygiene initiative was one way Newcrest could assist the community.
"This initiative, in providing greater hand hygiene in public places, creates safer community places for all users and increase public awareness to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at sporting and outdoor recreational areas," he said.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said it would help the fight against the coronavirus.
"Every member of the community has to play their part in keeping this pandemic at bay," he said.
"These bollards will be an important reminder of the clean-hands message as well as meeting the practical need for a convenient source of sanitiser."
Cr Kidd said Newcrest were "good corporate citizens" for the Central West.
Blayney shire mayor Scott Ferguson said the bollards were being installed across the council's various villages close to public toilets, playgrounds and sporting fields.
"And with the region re-opening and visitor numbers on the increase, the reassurance that hand sanitiser is readily available is reassuring for local businesses," he said.
Cabonne mayor Kevin Beatty said he expected at least one unit would be placed in each town in the shire, although the installation had not yet started.
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