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Death by Boom

This window into Port Hedland's mining boom explores the massive contradictions that coexist in the Australian economy despite the 'full employment' and growth figures.It also touches on the ongoing crisis of accommodation for Indigenous Australians.
So if you want to know what life's like inside the mineral boom -- here's a serve of it.
ABC Radio: Street Stories

In the dry and dusty northwest corner of Australia -- the boomtown of Port Hedland in Western Australia´s Pilbara region -- there is a hidden accommodation crisis. Here the biggest resources boom in Australian history is in full swing and one side effect is skyrocketing real estate prices. Weekly rental on a 30-year-old fibro cottage will now set you back more than a luxury home in any elite suburb of a state capital. That is if you can find one. The economy might be booming but the town is stretched to bursting point. You cannnot find a tradie to fix the damage wreaked by Cyclone George in March to save your life, and local takeaway joints frequently close because they cannot get staff to work at such low wages. The two mining giants in this red, flat, dusty town and the contractors vying for the top jobs at top money have snatched up every spare bit of accommodation. They have bought houses, blocks of land, pubs, backpacker hostels and caravan parks and turned them into accommodation for their massive and very male fly-in, fly-out workforce, who are here for the big dollars. The boom might be bringing in the big bucks for some, but many longterm locals have been priced out of the rental market and are slowly being driven out of town.


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