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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/33996
- Migration and new mining towns
- Brealey, Terence B.; Newton, Peter W.
- The mid-1960s Australian minerals boom was anticipated by the relaxation of a longstanding embargo on the export of iron ore; subsequently exploration led to the finding and development of extensive new reserves of iron ore, bauxite and nickel ore, some of which rank in size with the largest in the world. These deposits, with some minor exceptions, were located in the tropical north and the desert fringes of Australia---regions which had long been regarded by most Australians as harsh and inhospitable and which had previously attracted few permanent settlements of any magnitude. Within a decade several new communities were established in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, some in the Eastern Goldfields region of that state, and others were located on the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory and Queensland. The majority are company (or closed) towns, in which the company has constructed the town, administers it, owns the houses and is virtually the sole employer. In other respects they differ markedly. Some, for example, are located in the interior close to the ore bodies, whilst others are at coastal ports. Most have been established as new towns, but in others a large body of newcomers has been grafted onto a small, dormant, existing settlement. In a few towns the populations includes both mining company employees and a substantial number of other residents such as government employees who followed in the wake of the minerals boom. These towns are administered by conventional local government authorities, have a variety of house tenures and are known as 'open' towns. Mining workers were sought in the capitals, country towns and rural areas in all states as well as overseas. The campaigns for new workers were massive, competitive and covered a remarkably broad spectrum of occupations. The inducement offered was high standard furnished accommodation, usually air-conditioned, at extremely low rentals together with the opportunity to earn large sums of money. In this chapter we aim to provide answers to the following questions: Who goes to mining towns? Why do they go there? What happens to them when they get there? Why do they leave?
- Publication type
- Book chapter
- Mobility and community change in Australia / Ian H. Burnley, Robin J. Pryor and Donald Trevor Rowland (eds.), p. 48-66
- Publication year
- University of Queensland Press
- Copyright © University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland, 1980.