How the diggings shaped us
The good, bad and ugly of the extraction industry are exposed in a new doco
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.