How the dig­gings shaped us

The good, bad and ugly of the ex­trac­tion in­dus­try are ex­posed in a new doco

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

From the Gold Rush of the 1850s to the present day, the open­ing episode charts the key bat­tles and dra­matic turn­ing points in the epic strug­gle to share in the vast min­eral wealth of Aus­tralia.

As min­ing made Aus­tralia rich, the money changed vir­tu­ally ev­ery as­pect of so­ci­ety. It forged multi-eth­nic Aus­tralia; it caused ri­ots, up­ris­ings and racial vi­o­lence. It built cities and su­per­charged the sex in­dus­try. The tril­lions made forged a na­tional econ­omy and saved it from de­pres­sion.

How­ever min­ing is an un­cer­tain bet, and while the con­stant cy­cles of boom and bust saw the rise of some of the rich­est com­pa­nies in the world, the gam­bling and wan­ton spec­u­la­tion in­her­ent in min­ing, also de­stroyed for­tunes and makes Aus­tralia an eco­nomic roller coaster.

The sec­ond episode ex­plores the frac­tious, drama-filled and crit­i­cal re­la­tion­ship be­tween busi­ness and government. The fi­nal episode looks at the dra­matic story of the con­flict be­tween min­ing and land rights and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism.

Sun­days, 8.30pm, SBS1.

Pics snapped on the Cool­gar­die gold fields and out­side the of­fices of min­ing agent and share­bro­ker Howard Tay­lor.

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