This week, reporter Andrew Fowler looks at the impact of this rush to riches. Taking the cameras into Moranbah, in the heart of Queensland’s Bowen Basin, he visits locals that can’t get medical treatment, the families who say they are frightened to go out on the streets at night because of violence and he finds out why businesses are closing down.
The local businesses that do benefit from the boom are hotels, motels and real estate agents as house prices and rents skyrocket.
Things have become so bad in Moranbah that local residents voted the council out and gave the new mayor a mandate to rehabilitate the town. The question is, what can a local government do in the face of multi-billion dollar developments that are delivering State and Federal governments a massive boom in revenue? Can towns like this be saved?
“Towns are at risk, I think, of losing their identity and I think it’s emblematic of a number of mining towns across Australia. It’s turning from a proud self-contained community into a hotel town.” – Bernard Salt, Demographer
Monday 28th May at 8.30pm on ABC1.